Sunday, September 21, 2014

Program: Spring Break Bonanza!

As I'm sure is true for most of you out there in library-land, spring break gets a little crazy. We have multiple programs every day for a variety of age groups, trying to keep the masses entertained when school is not in session. Obviously I intended to recap these programs many moons ago, and now, shamefully, you all know just how far behind I am in my recaps and reviews. So, here is my collection of spring break programs from earlier this year!

National Potato Chip Day: I'm not sure if this actually fell during our spring break this year, but this is a program that my colleague has been doing with teens for a few years now. This year, we decided to expand the age range to include tweens. It's a really simple program. We showed a movie (this year, it was Sea of Monsters) and provided a variety of potato chip flavors for the kids to try. At the end, we took an informal survey of which flavors the kids liked and didn't like (though it was pretty obvious just by looking at what flavors were left at the end). And that's it! The kids love it (of course, they love anything with free food) and it's easy for us.

Fabulous Fandoms - Supernatural: at the beginning of this year, my coworker started a monthly fandom program, based partly on the success of a monthly Doctor Who program. With this program, she decided to focus each month on a different kind of fandom. I offered to help whenever my personal tastes combined with what she chose. During spring break, she decided on Supernatural, a show I've watched for the last nine years, so I tagged along. We showed one episode of the show and, while we were watching, made our own salt cellars. We had demon trap symbols and other symbols important on the show, as well as various craft supplies like wire and beads, to decorate the colored glass bottles we were using. When everyone was finished decorating, we filled them with salt, so we'd always be prepared to keep the demons out. Then we did a short game of trivia, with questions focusing on Sam, Dean, Castiel, and various demons of the show. Unfortunately, though both my coworker and I were excited about the program and expected a decent turnout, our actual number of attendance was disappointingly low. It's a shame because I've seen many people on listservs talking about their success with fandom programs, but we just don't seem to have the community for it at my library.

Anime Afternoon: this is another program that my coworker has been running for teens but we decided to include tweens for our spring break edition. We picked an anime movie to watch (well, my coworker picked one since my anime knowledge is very limited) and provided supplies for candy sushi making. We had a great turnout and everyone stayed for the duration of the movie, even after they finished devouring their candy. Definitely something to do again, though with the candy sushi supplies, it can be a little pricey.

Divergent: another collaboration with my coworker, though this program was limited to teens. She relied on me to do the heavy lifting, though, as she'd not read any of the series and I had. I was happy to plan. We had a station for each faction: Abnegation (writing letters to deployed soldiers), Dauntless (temporary tattoos, and we also served Dauntless chocolate cake), Erudite (book lists with suggestions for each faction and readalikes for the series), Amity (the snack table - because I couldn't come up with anything else and Amity provides the food in the books), and Candor (truth or truth - questions we had on slips of paper that we dared them to be completely honest answering). Obviously the Dauntless station was the most popular, though Amity wasn't far behind. For the second half of the program, we had trivia. They were fanatic about it. We were fortunate to have many prizes to hand out, courtesy of some donations. This was a hugely successful program and a lot of fun.

Family Minute to Win It: for the last day of spring break, I busted out a program that I'd been thinking about doing for a long time. Minute to Win It is easy, cheap, and fun, and I really wanted to have a family version, with kids competing against parents and siblings. It didn't quite work out that way; most of the parents who came were not interested in trying any of the games out for themselves, even when their kids pleaded with him. It was a bit disheartening to see, actually, but obviously, I can't force anyone's participation. Games offered included Sticky Marbles, Unicorn, Sticky Situation, Suck It Up, Nose Dive, Face the Cookie, Penny Hose, Junk in the Trunk, and Noodling Around. The kids who participated had a great time, and my teen volunteers did as well. I had a disappointing turn-out for this program, so I'm not terribly inclined to try it again. However, with the excitement of my volunteers, I might do a teen version, though teen programs are usually hit or miss here.

And that was my spring break! We had many other programs throughout the week, offered by my coworkers. What fresh ideas should I try next March?

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