Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas in the Square

Last night was our city's annual festival Christmas in the Square. It takes place in the blocks surrounding city hall. Organizations around town, such as churches, animal rescue groups, etc., join in the fun and have booths set up. Children's crafts, ice sculptures, a tree lighting ceremony, carriage rides, and visits with Santa Claus are just some of the fun activities they have for free, and there are many carnival culinary treats to indulge in as well. The festival starts at 5:30 and ends at 9:30, and is always on the first Thursday of the month.

The library has participated in years past, each time with a craft. Last year we began handing out bags stuffed with information about the library, including services that parents would be interested in (storytimes, homework help databases, ebooks). We also began inviting a costumed character to our booth. We had two children's librarians (me and a colleague) and a library assistant, as well as the character.

This year, we ordered 300 bags from Upstart, and ran out by 7:30. I think we'll have to order at least 500 next year.

We decided on using Magic Scratch Gingerbread Ornaments for our craft. These turned out to be a VERY good idea, since they had no little pieces and were not messy at all, so there was very little setup and cleanup involved. They are pre-cut in the shape of gingerbread boys and girls, and all the children have to do is scratch them with the provided styluses to show the rainbow design underneath.

I ordered 500 of these, and we were out of them by 8:30. I think we'll have to get at least 600 next year.

Our costumed character was the mouse from Laura Numeroff's If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. He came complete with a backpack and a cookie in his front pocket. Luckily, one of our shelver pages loves to wear the costumes, and she did a fantastic job. Everyone wanted their picture taken with the mouse, including me, as you can see in the picture!

All in all it was a fantastic night. We talked to so many people who were loyal fans of the library and found some new supporters, too. It's always fun to go out in the community!

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