Create Your Own Divergent Release Party – Phase 2

So I’ve had a couple months to get my ideas together and bounce them off my incredible staff members @justinthelibrarian and Lee Hope to find out what’s doable, what’s fun and what would drive them bonkers and needs to be dropped.  Here’s where things stand:

The Cardboard Fear Simulator:  They both loved this idea!  In fact, Justin went the following week to talk to a local manufacturing company about saving us as many large cardboard boxes as possible.  They said they do that all the time and they’d be happy to reserve their boxes for us until Spring for free.  In fact, they’ll even drop them off for us!  AMAZING!  I’ll be getting fun sensory materials to put inside, foam, ripped paper, bubble wrap, sponges, etc.  Depending on which path they take they’ll be sorted into different factions.  As they emerge they’ll receive a button stating which faction they now belong to.  If they get too scared and go back to the beginning they’ll be dubbed “Factionless” and receive that button!

Giant Foam Pit w/ Pictures:  I decided it was a bit unrealistic to start with a foam pit for my first project (someday, my pretty) but I did figure out how to get the whole jumping off a building shot thing.  We’ve recently installed a photo booth on the 2nd floor (Check it out here!) and in talking with our incredible Tech staff we’re going to do a green screen backdrop and have kids jump while we take their photos.  The buildings will be super imposed in the background and voila!  Base jumping shots from the comfort of your library that are instantly uploaded to our Phothobooth’s own Instagram Page.

Temporary Tattoo Station:  We got our Silhouette Cameo up and running and will be getting some tattoo paper to print the tattoos off with, this should be fairly straight forward and because we’re printing them ourselves we can make them nice and big!

Crazy Dystopian Hair Station/Hair Chalking:  I’m going to be reaching out to a local beauty school to see if their hair students would be willing to come for an hour and just give crazy hairstyles to the teens.  Luckily a staff member has a connection to one local school but there are many we could reach out to.  It could be a great chance for these students to add some more unique work to their portfolios!

We’ll be purchasing the hair chalk supplies this week and doing test runs with kids at our next Focus Group which should be a ton of fun!

Also, I’ve got some new ideas to add in:

Giveaways:  I want to give away a couple of the trilogies of the books that night as well as tickets for the movie since we’ll be hosting the event the Friday that the movie opens, March 21st.  Since we probably won’t have enough tickets and books for everyone, we’ll also have ARCs to giveaway and I’ll be 3D printing some kind of Ferris Wheel items for everyone to take home.

Trailer/Munchies: We’ll have the trailer/s looping on one of the walls with our popcorn machine out so kids can  watch it and munch away… I’m even going to try and make Amity Bags to hold the popcorn so our look is authentic.

I’m getting really excited, this plan is coming together nicely, I have a ton of support and I can’t wait to finally host my first big event here at CPL!  Feel free to share whatever you’re going to do in the comments, I’d love to talk to other people hosting something like this!


Programming Basics – Sell Yourself, Then Your Program


So now that I’m getting into the swing of things on The 2nd Floor of the Chattanooga Public Library I’m able to start programming.

This. Is. My. Passion.

Which makes it at times almost uncontrollably hard to rein in.  I always want to go way overboard when it comes to programming and it can be hard to just pick one thing to start with.  I tend to focus on what a program could turn into (An entire gaggle of crafty teens meeting weekly to yarn bomb the city together!  A fleet of girls who Skype with Amy Poehler about the frustrations of being ballsy, creative young women as we create a zine!  A group who study the acoustics of ukuleles, design crazy versions we 3D print, then have an impromptu “Learn Your First Chord w/ Amanda Palmer in 5 Minutes” program that turns into weekly Uke sessions. Seriously, it’s like this in my brain ALL DAY…) instead of how to build the fan base to make those big programs work.  Luckily, with a few locations and years under my belt I’m finally getting better at the start up of such programs.

So here’s what I’m gonna do:  I’m gonna’ delve into my own childhood and give a few of my choice memories away to a new generation.  First Up? I’m gonna teach 8-18 year olds how to make and then use a Knitting Nancy.  Anyone remember those?  I spent HOURS when I was about 9 creating endless chains of yarn and dreaming about what I’d turn them into.

I picked this for four reasons:

  1. Because DIY is hot right now.
  2. Because Retro is hot right now.
  3. Because Kids can smell a fake a mile away and unless I’m totally into what we’re doing they’ll hate it/me.
  4. Because the kids who freakin’ love it will come back for more.

This program will be fabulous and these kids will want to come back.  Next time I’ll hook them again and this is how I’ll build my crafty fan base.  Eventually, we’ll get to those big ideas but first, I’ve gotta sell myself to them.

Oh, in case you’re interested in teaching kids Spool Knitting (also known as French Knitting) I HIGHLY recommend this video which I’ll be showing them on Saturday. Seriously, this 6 Year Old Boy might be my new hero…