Weird Programs That Were Surprisingly Successful

In the Programming Librarian Interest Group on Facebook there was a recent thread where librarians shared "bizarre programs that have been surprisingly successful."  Here are some examples that were shared; want to try any?

  • "I did a Zombie Tea Party for the release of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. (the movie) We ate jelly candies shaped like brains, vanilla bean jelly beans to represent maggots, drank gunpowder tea, put on zombie makeup, had a book signing by zombie Jane Austen, and learned about zombie etiquette. We all had a blast, and got a terrific sugar high from all the candy."
  • "... we had a beach party in February. We wore summer clothes had a limbo stick and other summer games and served sandwiches and made tie dye shirts."
  • "I've been doing a giant butterfly party every January for several years now. January is depressing." Program goals, supplies, and details at Butterfly Celebration.
  • "I recently had a cat party. It went very well despite how silly it sounds. We watched youtube videos, made cat ears to wear, cat toys, colored and i had goldfish, swedish fish and cat cookies. The kids were in heaven. I had about 15 or so. It was so silly that the newspaper felt the NEED to cover it." Newspaper coverage of Napa County Library’s Cat Party: Ain't No Party Like a Cat Party. "The cat ears and the bookmarks i found on pinterest and they were pretty easy and inexpensive! I got 3 packs of headbands at the dollar store, bought black, brown, grey felt sheets and glue guns!"
  • "I was thinking of running a YouTube film festival, complete with red carpet. There are some great animated shorts online that the kids may enjoy but not be aware of. These are some I put together wandering the Web: YouTube Film Festival."
  • "I taught arm knitting! Most were intrigued and some gave up quickly, but the ones that stuck with it came back and helped me teach another class. I had 35 people show up to the first one age 4-70! Just me and yarn."
  • "Crazy Cat party- made cat masks, watched cat videos, made toys for cats, had milk and goldfish crackers. It had a pretty good turn out! We even had them dress in their best cat lady costume for prizes."
  • "On a whim at storytime one day I added a few drops of food coloring to some shaving cream and let the kids go nuts playing in it. I think it was probably their most favorite storytime, ever."
  • "I host a Hobbit 2nd breakfast on Hobbit Day (Sept. 22, I believe) at my academic library. Not very bizarre, as I just do food and tea, but the students seem to enjoy it. You could definitely add activities."
  • "A few years ago I had some people donate non-working computers and the kids and I took them apart while an IT person was on hand to explain what we were finding inside! It was so much fun and the kids each got to take home a piece of computer."
  • "Celebrated National Chicken Dance Day with a chicken craft, pecking for candy corn, and of course a dance through the children's section. Staff wore feather boas and yellow rubber gloves on our feet which then looked a lot like actual chicken feet. Silly fun."

Photo credit: Rapid City Public Library via the Libraries and Librarians group on Flickr [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)]

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