Summer is almost over and for many programming, youth and teen services librarians, that means wrapping up summer reading programs. This year’s themes are “Every hero has a story” for children, “Unmask” for teens, and “Escape the ordinary” for adults. Many of the promotional materials distributed by the Collaborative Summer Library Program use a lot of comic book and superhero imagery. More information can be found on their website: www.cslpreads.org.
I know that summer reading programs can be exhausting and extremely time consuming. Librarians try their hardest to include some educational aspect to their programming, be it fine motor skills for the youngest crowds, to large scale science experiments for the older participants, or author visits for all ages.
Anything to get patrons into the library or involved with library programming is wonderful. Food tends to be the uniting factor, bringing all types of patrons into the library for a yummy treat in a place where you normally aren’t allowed to eat.
And besides, cooking/eating in libraries has become more popular since the advent of the Edible Book Festival celebrated around April 1st in honor of Jean Anthelme Brillant-Savarin, French gastronome who wrote commentary about food in “Physiologie du Gout.” Check out the International Book Festival on Facebook. Some libraries have made the connection between libraries and food by lending out cake pans, like the Charles County Public Library in Maryland (more information in this Library Journal article here) and small kitchen appliances in Toronto (NPR article here). If you thought MARC records for comics and graphic novels were a pain, think about adding cake pans and appliances to your online catalog!
This weekend, I found some amazing superhero cake and cookie cutters which would make an amazing summer reading program project. Make some dough, get out some amazing colored frosting, host a contest, and have fun.
Browse stores and Amazon for great cake pans. There’s also a wide selection of cookie cutters at www.cheapcookiecutters.com. Better yet, stop by your local craft or cake decorating store to ask for a donation!