Tag Archives: programming

Fanfiction in Libraries

Fanfiction in libraries!?! I’m sure many of you are thinking “not in my library!” but with the growing popularity of fanfiction and pop culture this is an easy programming idea. During the North Dakota Library Association’s annual conference Dr. Aimee Rogers, from the University of North Dakota, and Justine Sprenger, from the Grand Forks Public Library, gave the presentation Fanfiction: Why you should be a fan! Through this presentation the two presenters described why fanfiction is beneficial to young patrons in libraries, how many main stream authors began in fanfiction, and even books that highlight fanfiction as a part of the plot line. Their focus was to help the audience understand what fanfiction is and why it should not be scoffed at as a writing style. In fact, studies show that teaching writing through fanfiction helps the novice writer because they do not need to come up with their own characters and their own worlds, they can just add to the one that already exists.

If a library has a creative writing program within it, for children or teens, allowing them to begin by writing fanfiction may be more helpful than making them create everything on their own. Though some patrons may have all those ideas others may be intimidated by the fact that they need to create everything themselves, especially if they only have a character idea that could fit into another world. This presentation encouraged librarians to continue to embrace pop culture in their libraries through clubs and programming that highlight items like fanfiction, graphic novels, and cosplay. After the presentation, the presenters welcomed a discussion on how the librarians in the session felt about fanfiction in general and about it as a tool to be used to help with creative writing.

Art Project for Teens and Adults

I stumbled across a site that had directions for a project called Song Lyric Wall Art that may work as a program in your libraries.  Instead of song lyrics, you could use quotes from books, movies, etc.

They say to find a painting at a thrift store or use one that you already have and are willing to paint over. Next, attach letter stickers over it in the form of whatever quote or saying you would like, and paint over it with acrylic paint or spray paint.  After it dries, take off the stickers and you will have a unique wall hanging.

I decided to try this to see how easy it actually was. Instead of using a painting, I bought a canvas and spray painted it black.  Since it took multiple coats, it did take longer than originally anticipated.  Also, if you use spray paint instead of the acrylic paint, make sure to go outside for this project.  Once it was dry, I stuck the letters and numbers on and spray painted the whole thing yellow.  This also took multiple coats.  Then, after it was dry, I took off the stickers.  The stickers weren’t too keen on staying on the canvas so some of the yellow paint got where I didn’t want it but, all in all, it was a fun project.  Next time, I may try the acrylic paint and see how that works.  Here is my finished project:

wall art

Have you done something similar at your library?  How did it turn out?  Do you have any tips or ideas on how to make this a successful program?

Book Spine Poetry

book spine poetry

National Poetry Month is coming up in April.  One program idea is to have your patrons “write” book spine poetry. Using books your library owns, patrons can use the spine titles to create unique and fun poems. They can be funny or serious and they can make sense or be totally nonsensical. The only thing that matters is that your patrons are having fun!  The following website has some examples of poems using book spines:

You can find more information and tips on programs, discussions, collection development, and book displays for the National Poetry Month at their official website:

Does your library participate in National Poetry Month? What types of things do  you do to celebrate?

Book Speed Dating

book-112117_640A few weeks ago, I was told about a teen programming idea that sounded like it could be a lot of fun: Book Speed Dating.

After doing some research online, it appears that it is a popular idea that teens really enjoy and it gets them to read books that they may not normally pick up.

All you need to do is set up a few tables, gather the books ahead of time (these can be a mix of fiction and nonfiction or just fiction or just nonfiction), create a scorecard, and have a timer (or watch/clock) available.

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Duct Tape Projects

File:Duct Tape and Kapton Tape.jpg

While discussing teen programming during the Summer Summit last week, duct tape programs were mentioned multiple times. There are many things that you can make out of duct tape. As a Doctor Who fan and in honor of Series 8 starting this Saturday, I thought I would mention a couple Doctor Who-themed duct tape ideas found online (http://www.teenlibrariantoolbox.com/2013/08/tpib-doctor-who.html):


Duct Tape bowties (http://www.duckbrand.com/duck-tape-club/ducktivities/crafts/duck-tape-bows)

Duct tape rose pens (in honor of the companion, Rose) (http://www.duckbrand.com/duck-tape-club/ducktivities/flowers-and-roses/how-to-make-a-duck-tape-rose)

Duct tape TARDIS purse (http://ducttapecase.wordpress.com/tardis-duct-tape-bag/) – although I couldn’t find step-by-step directions for the purse, this link takes you to a picture of how it can look after completion.

If you want ideas on other things that you can make with duct tape, the duckbrand.com website has a lot of designs that you and your teens/tweens can create. Also, the teenlibrariantoolbox.com website has a lot of ideas for Doctor Who crafts that do not involve duct tape, if you are interested.

Movie Licensing for Public Display in Libraries

429px-CinematographeProjectionDisclaimer: I am not a lawyer and the following does not constitute legal advice.

Movie events make great library programs, whether they’re targeted at children, teens, or adults. Conveniently, most libraries have vibrant and extensive circulating collections of DVDs to choose from. However, due to U.S. intellectual property laws, you’re likely prohibited from simply screening them publicly. In fact, civil penalties for unlicensed public performances start at $750 for each inadvertent infringement and go as high as $150,000 for each egregious violation.

Here’s some of the pertinent bits of the federal Copyright Act, Title 17 of the United States Code (skip ahead to avoid the legalese):  Continue reading