Did you know that TSU has a booktalk database with 70 booktalks written by TSU agents and members that anyone could use? We even have them in genres/categories! Admittedly, the TSU team has been focused on other things and let this fall behind. However, if this is something y’all would like us to continue, please let us know! If it is, we’ll come up with a plan to continuously add new titles. So, if you want to see it stay be sure to leave us a comment!
I will fully admit that for the most part holiday music and movies drive me up the wall. It could be that they get played from before Halloween until after Martin Luther King Jr. day. It could be the many, many years in band that we played renditions of them in parades in freezing weather. Not sure. I do know that my brother and I started finding non-traditional holiday movies at an early age after being exposed to the movie Scrooged countless times. And thankfully my husband is of the same mind when it comes to holiday movies- the more non-traditional the better. We’re not talking National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, either; that counts as a straight up holiday movie, even though I can sit through one viewing of it. For me, non-traditional holiday movies are ones that you wouldn’t normally count as a holiday movie, because winter holidays aren’t the main theme. I’ve pulled my top five below, but I bet you can name many more.
What’s your favorite type of library program?
I really enjoy art programs. It’s fun, but it’s also therapeutic and doesn’t take much to keep going once you do the initial outlay for materials. In fact, I am de-stressing by listening to Bob Ross right now. #happylittletrees
Why do you enjoy working with teens?
Adults don’t give them enough credit for their ideas and thoughts, and I’m often impressed by how perceptive they are. At the same time, they still need protection and support and someone who will listen to them and believe them and help them out.
What kinds of things do you do when you’re not at work?
I do weight lifting and Pilates. Because I have Celiac, I have to make almost all of my own food, so I spend a lot of time cooking. When I have the time and the means, I love traveling. I used to read and blog a lot more than I do now (blog is Pamelibrarian), though whether that’s a result of my schedule change or my interests changing, I’m not sure.
Craziest thing you’ve done as a teen librarian?
Sung a duet with a coworker of “Bohemian Rhapsody” at a lock-in. The teens were mildly horrified.
If you suddenly had extra money in your budget to buy one thing you’ve always wanted for your teens/library, what would it be?
Cripes, one thing I’ve always wanted? An author visit from someone like Marissa Meyer or Cassandra Clare–the teens would die.
What is something you struggle with the most?
I often feel like I”m not doing enough, whether that’s programming or RA or outreach. But my current job is not teen librarian–I’m a circulation manager who happens to do a teen program now and then. But I pressure myself into doing more than I need or really should.
If you could build your dream teen area what would it look like?
It would be far, far away from the adults. Enclosed, but well-ventilated (a must in the summer!). I despise extremely bright colors in teen spaces because I think it can look dated extremely quickly, so I suppose it would be more monochromatic? It would have a quiet study area and a loud gaming area. When I visited the Indianapolis Public Library, they had these very cool pod chairs, which look uncomfortable but which are actually quite cozy. And my dream area would be brimming with display areas. I love making displays!
If you have a desk do you decorate/what does it look like?
All of my Funko Pops live at work with me. They’re almost all Star Wars ones, and I’ll rearrange them into little battle formations periodically. Otherwise, my desk/cubicle isn’t really decorated unless you count being smothered in books, papers, tote bags (so many of them), craft samples, and office supplies “decoration.”
Famous authors/people you’ve met?
Holly Black, Libba Bray (finally this year at YALLFEST I AM STILL EXCITED!), Angie Thomas (SEE FIRST PARENTHETICAL NOTE I AM HYPERVENTILATING), John Green, Veronica Roth, Gene Luen Yang, Tamora Pierce.
For other people: Jim Gaffigan and Ashley Eckstein.
If you had to work in a department other than teen, what would it be and why?
Collection development. In library school, I originally focused on cataloging and information organization. It would be a nice counterpoint to front-line service.
What was the first YA book you remember reading?
Probably Beauty by Robin McKinley. I read that and Spindle’s End and Rose Daughter when I was about eleven, and then I abandoned YA because I thought it wasn’t “real literature.” Ugh, I was a snob! When I was 21 I picked up The Hunger Games and fell back into YA.
If you could have a fictional pet/fantasy animal, what would it be?
A Companion from Mercedes’ Lackey’s Valdemar books. Although I wouldn’t really own it–we’d be partners.
And I would have to have Mindspeech.
What’s your Oreo preference?
Double-stuf! I haven’t had any of the flavors since Oreos aren’t gluten free. I have tried the peppermint Joe-Joe’s from Trader Joe’s, however, and they are quite good.
Your dream vacation?
An east-to-west tour of Europe by train.
Coffee or tea?
Cat or dog?
Dog! I do like cats, but I discovered this year that I am allergic. Thank you, aging immune system. I have two beagles back home but no doggos at my new place (yet!).
I think photo booths are one of the best ways to promote a program at your library. Your young patrons will get excited and ask to have their picture taken and ideally that photo will end up on social media organically promoting your program! But ultimately they can just look so cool and add a bit of whimsy to your branch!
This was the first photo booth that I saw in a library and kids, teens and even adults were excited to have their picture taken. It was one of the coolest things in our library that summer! After this I began a long process of learning how to create booths efficiently in order to promote some of our big programs at the branch.
My initial attempts relied on my limited painting ability. This worked really well for some of the photo booths but I kept hitting a ceiling with what I wanted to do vs. what I could do.
Making the Harry Potter car was a lot of fun but took so much time. And I did learn by printing off Harry’s face….That I could print off Harry’s face and glue it onto poster board!
A few months after this program I did a Star Wars photo booth. It was a lot of fun fabricating an x-wing nose out of cardboard and paper Mache’ but wow oh wow was it time consuming.
During the process I remembered Harry Potter’s face and found with a high quality photo of an x-wing I could enlarge it to a massive size! Furthermore, with Microsoft Publisher I could print it out in multiple sheets to make the x-wing you see in the photo below which was about 8 feet wide.
I no longer needed to be have artistic talent!!!! I could just print it off using Microsoft Publisher and our library’s printer!!! (RED LEADER THIS IS GOLD LEADER….)
Now there is certainly a learning curve and it does take time to become better and more experienced with Publisher but it’s gotten to the point where I can put out a new photo booth from concept to finished product in 4 hours provided I have the cardboard needed….provided im not too picky
Here is the process using Microsoft Publisher
- Have a general image in your head about what you want to do. Or google specific things for example harry potter/super hero/star wars photo booth or etc.
- Know the size of your “canvas” you can use a large cardboard box as your back board. or recently I’ve started using this giant roll of what we call Butcher Paper which is 38” tall and after I’ve glued the pages to the paper I then attach it to the cardboard. If I need it to be taller I can am still able to add more length.
When you determine the size, you can make the page size reflect that in publisher for instance if I was working with a 38” x 46” size piece of cardboard
- After opening Publisher, create a new file
- Now it’s time for the google. When using google image search use high quality images as you will be expanding them. The Advanced tool bar allows you to filter your search
Also know that google also allows you to search for images that can be reused and modified commercially.
Often adding “transparent” or white background will allow you to find images that can be layered on top of each other.
When you’ve found you images it’s time to bring it all together.
4. It’s important to start with a backdrop that is not pure white because eventually you’re going to have to cut the paper and I do not cut the best lines, so start with a colored back ground. Below is a background I chose and then I expanded and added our library system’s summer reading logo.
5. Now it was time to choose the people
- For this particular booth initially I chose Bob Ross, a random dancer, and Pete Townsend to use for the create theme….
As you add your subjects into the document. I also threw in some random words to make it more festive and fill some empty space.
PRO TIP: Check with fellow co-workers/friends/frenemies before you print your design!!!!! Did you know that Pete Townsend at one point was being investigated for a rather heinous crime? Although he was exonerated it was not until I reached this stage, and had it all printed that I was told of this issue and had to redesign and reprint everything. Just recently I learned my lesson again and was about to do a photo booth with Ben Affleck’s Batman but he was in the news because of the MTV controversy. (who knew you’d learn about celeb affairs in a photo booth blog) Anywho please check before you print. Cause if you’re like me and you never knew that about Pete Townsend…it’d be a whole lot worse getting it out to the public and having a parent complain about the association. So DISCOUNT DOUBLE CHECK.
Pro tip : If you are using people try to throw in some diversity. Having photo booths that reflect the diversity of your patrons will help everyone feel welcomed.
Laying it out.
Once you have it lined up in the way you want. Grab your scissors and cut away the white borders you need to in order to make it work. Cut the bottom and left side edges off the pages knowing that they would be overlapped by the next page.
Attaching to the cardboard
Use glue sticks! I’ve tried Mod Podge, spray adhesive, and Elmers and it provided inconsistent and often ugly results. Glue sticks are best. I have done a Mod Podge top layer but often I’m not happy with the results. It does tend to make the photo booth last longer but visually I don’t like it as much. Once you have it glued down, grab your handy razor knife and cut out the face holes!
And boom with a little bit of work and time you’ve got yourself a custom made Photo booth that required very little artistic talent!