Enchanted Library – 2015 edition (superheroes)

29 Oct

Every year, we create an Enchanted Library program (the largest program our library offers all year around).  We found the idea in a Library Sparks magazine a number of years ago and adapted the program to fit our needs.  Here’s a little background – The program itself is a 20-minute tour through the library guided by one of our middle school guides.  Throughout the library the guide interacts with seven different characters from children’s literature creating almost a character book trailer for the families to see.  We run the program on a Friday night when the library is usually closed allowing us to set up sets, props, twinkle lighting throughout the library and an aura of magic (which is exactly what we want)!

This year’s theme is superheroes (a popular theme in our area) and after contemplating for about a year whether or not to use Marvel and DC superheroes, I decided against it for fear of copyright issues with Disney (I don’t want to mess with Disney).  So, instead we chose superheroes from our collection Melvin Beederman, Captain Underpants, Lunch Lady, Princess in Black, Skippyjon Jones, Superfab, and the Gumazing Gum Girl.  We choose some that kids will know and others that might be new to our community encouraging them to come back to the library to check out books!

I have about 30 middle school students who are guides, characters, and help backstage to make this run smoothly.  This is also our seventh annual event, so we’re getting to a point where we’re a well-oiled machine!  I have a co-worker who writes up the scripts for each character (about 1 page) and works on costuming and sets and props.  You would be amazed at what we can accomplish with a larger furniture cardboard box. I run rehearsals with the kids for about six weeks, (only an hour each week) and then the entire library staff helps at dress rehearsals and the night of the show – donating snacks, practicing lines with kids and making sure everyone who signs up gets on the right tour.  Overall, we usually expect between 350 – 400 people to attend this event with tours running every ten minutes from 6:00 – 8:30pm.

I love this program because it’s amazing to see the middle school kids grow for the six weeks I see them and usually they return all four years of middle school, so I really get a chance to see them grow-up.  We even had a few high school kids stop by last night to check out dress rehearsal because they miss doing Enchanted Library.  This program is a lot of work and at this point I have a little over 24 hours before we begin our tours, but it is so worth it for the library, the community and the middle school kids who volunteer their time to make stories come to life.  Don’t worry – photos will be posted next week!

This is a great post about our program a few years ago!

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