January – August 2021: Nothing
Yep, our Children’s Library remained closed a little extra-long due to the pandemic. Between our teeny-tiny space and bad air circulation, we opted to err on the side of safety for all by keeping the building closed (though we provided curbside service).
During this time we no longer had staff working alongside Jennifer and myself. Both Ashlynn and Natasia had moved on to full time law library work.
That said, we hired two new team members a month or so before we reopened, which gave me a relaxed time of training them. Heba and Meggie felt like a gift from the universe – their enthusiasm and creativity rekindled my own. I am super-excited to finally share their amazing work.
September 2021: Painting Masterpieces
This was the return of monthly themes at the Children’s Library, and for me, it felt like having to relearn how to tap dance. Which I tried to do. In college. It wasn’t pretty. Okay, so it wasn’t that challenging, but it still was harder than I’d anticipated.
All that said, our new team members Meggie and Heba really made our space feel special, and did a great job on their first theme.
October 2021: In Memoriam
This theme was in honor of a special member of the Gretna community who had unexpectedly passed away. While we didn’t explicitly say that this was what we were doing, a few parents let us know that they had figured it out and thought what we did was lovely.
Basically, we wanted to evoke autumn and a pumpkin patch.
We filled the library with fall leaves falling, and had a few animals throughout. Like the two owls in the reading bench tree, and the squirrel to the side.
That squirrel went home with a very happy little girl who had fallen in love with it. After the décor was taken down, of course.
And after getting through this month, Heba vowed never to cut out another leaf unless it was using a tool such as a Cricut.
November 2021: Dragonopoly
Dragonopoly was conceived and created by Heba and Meggie. And I believe that this was the first month where Meggie did the entire theme on her own. I’m still shaking my head in wonder at how she pulled this off.
She made all of the signs relevant to our library, and then remade our section signs to look like Monopoly locations.
Those silver pawns on the reading bench wall were made from aluminum foil stuck to black paper (which created the black outline), and then a Sharpie was used for the pieces’ details.
December 2021: Decemberley Featuring Denise Fleming
This month was a lot of fun to prepare since we made our own paper to celebrate the awesome artwork and skills of Denise Fleming.
We used shredded papers from the library, and threw in a few bits of shiny foil confetti and glitter.
Meggie recreated, on a much larger scale, the snowman from Fleming’s The First Day of Winter.
For a special downtown event, our Children’s Librarian Jennifer put together a StoryWalk® of Fleming’s delightful book. It both began and ended at the Children’s Library.
The other thing worth noting is that I discovered that you can stick up foil confetti pieces to windows using a 50/50 mix of ModPodge and water. It takes a tiny little dot to work, and was a cinch to take down.
And that covers 2021 post-pandemic closure themes.
As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or concerns – I’m happy to help!