Monday, December 5, 2016

How We Decorated for the Holidays

Um... we didn't. Kinda.

Let me start by saying that we are not a very decorate-y department in general. We *sometimes* (not always!) decorate for the Summer Reading Club, our biggest time of year. Just to give you an idea about how I prioritize decorations.

But for some reason, we are expected to decorate for the holidays. Patrons ask about it. Our library has typically put up multiple Christmas trees, including one in the Children's Room.

Not this year. (In fact, I gave away our Christmas tree, which has been a donation to us many years ago.)

This year, we decided to decorate with cut-paper snowflakes. And I love it. So much.

We recruited teen volunteers to get us started with some snowflakes and some of them got super into it and made us some very intricate designs. Then we turned our craft table into a snowflake table. This not only gives our young patrons a chance to join in the fun and help decorate the Children's Room, but it offers a chance to practice with scissors and further develop fine motor control.

One of my desk clerks is in charge of prepping the finished snowflakes for hanging (she's taping thread on the back and attaching each to a wire hook) and then hanging them when it's slow in the department.

What I love about these decorations:

1. They are seasonal, but not holiday-related. They don't exclude anyone.

2. They are patron-created, which gives our young friends a chance to take some ownership of their library and to be helpful in an easy, self-directed way. And it makes it EASY for staff.

3. They create a little bit of a festive air, which helps let patrons know that something special is going on: Winter Reading Club. We'll keep them up through January 31, which is the end of our WRC.

4. We're starting out with a flurry of snow, but by the end of our Winter Reading Club, hopefully we'll have many more snowflakes hanging and it will look more like a blizzard! (I just love how that mirrors our typical weather, although blizzards are very rare down here.)

It's enough to make things a little special without beating anyone over the head about holidays or risking anyone feel unwelcome. And I love that!