Over the past few months, my overall vision for our library has become about making good memories for everyone at our library. And I just had to share a new tradition that we started at our library.
Because IT. IS. AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
One of the neatest experiences at our library is when a child finally turns six years old, and thus becomes old enough to get a library card. There are times that kids have come in still wearing their party hats and have proudly stated that they are now six and would like to get their first card.
But what if we could make this experience even better? To really signify to the kids that this is an awesome thing happening (and hopefully an experience they will cherish for the rest of their lives).
How about make a special pledge for the kids to recite? Eh, too serious.
Have a monthly library party for kids who got their first card? Nah – too much work that would not equate directly to the moment the first card is given.
I also didn’t want it to be something to take away from the focus of what’s special: getting a library card for the first time.
Long story short: I believe the idea came to me while watching MLP: Friendship Is Magic. Pinkie Pie had hidden confetti cannons around Twilight’s castle.
What about those little confetti poppers that I had loved those as a kid?! They’d be WAY too loud (and slightly dangerous) in our small space.
But what if there was a quieter/cheaper confetti shooter out there? Sophie’s World to the rescue!
After handing this project over to Natasia, she ran with it and made some really beautiful cannons. Feel free to ask via email (email@example.com) if you’d like details on what she did and I’ll happily share.
Here’s our first confetti cannon trial:
I wish that the video could show how amazing the confetti is – it goes up high and shimmers beautifully as it flutters down. It also doesn’t take a whole lot of confetti to be effective (about a teaspoon I’d guess).
And here’s our very first kid to get this special treatment:
I’ve lost count of how many kids we’ve given this special treatment to, but lemme tell ya what: this has been even better than I had hoped.
A mother shared with us that her (under six) daughter gathered up some of the confetti that we shot when her older brother got his first card. Now the little girl keeps it in her pocket because it’s special.
Everyone who happens to be in the library at the time we celebrate ends up smiling and cheering with us for our newest patron. It’s simply joyful.
When I shared this in Storytime Underground’s Facebook group, the main comments were about the mess.
Now lemme tell you what’s what: I hate a messy/disorganized work space. I’ve banned glitter except for in rare cases. But to have the library look like a fun party went down? I can live with that. For a bit. And a suggestion from a Director at a nearby library turned out to be perfect: get a manual floor sweeper. I think her words were, “it’s a confetti beast.” We purchased one and have been very happy with that purchase.
The confetti has been very impressive in terms of how far it can go. But you know what? I think that most people who see it will not think “messy,” but “I wonder what happened here? It looks like they had fun!” We also hand sweep-up confetti on our circ desk to reuse to cut down on waste.
And there you have it: one of the funnest passive things we’ve ever done. Do you do anything special for first library cards (regardless of age)? I’d love to know about it!