Friday, July 13, 2007

You Gotta Fight! For Your Right! To Potter!***

When I found out that the last Harry Potter book was coming out in the summer of 2007 (i.e. the year I would in theory have a real job as a children's librarian), I was so so so excited. I'm a huge Harry fan and I loved the idea of having the excitement of the new book in the library, promoting the book, reading for myself and discussing it with my patrons and most importantly, throwing a big huge party to celebrate the event. And when I found out that I had a job, I was even more excited! My dreams would become a reality!

Then, I arrived at my new job and realized that my dreams would probably not become a reality. There were four large problems: 1) lack of money 2) lack of time to plan 3) lack of people 4) lack of support (the director places more importance on someone sitting at the desk, answering questions). So I resigned myself to the fact that I wouldn't get my long anticipated Harry Potter party. I did some inner pouting and debating back in forth between "Eh, it doesn't really matter. Besides, there's no time" and "But it's the last one! Ever! This is your last chance!" But I kept my mouth shut.

Then, we put up a promotional display with a Harry Potter countdown, with a little tear off calendar proclaiming how many days until Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It was making me a little crazy but I just ignored it. Then people started seeing the sign and asking if were doing anything. And then I had to say, "No, we're not planning anything. There's a midnight event at the bookstore downtown though!" And it was breaking my heart to say it.

So, on Wednesday (a mere 10 days before the release), I told my coworker (who works part time in the kids department and helps with the storytime load) that I thought we needed a Harry Potter Party. Well, actually, I think I said, "People keep asking if we're having a party for the release of Harry Potter and I think we should. I really want to have a party. I promise it won't be too much work. Would you mind helping?" She seemed okay with me dumping a massive amount of work on her and we brought it to the director. I pleaded, told her it would be very low key and very very very cheap.

She said yes and the wheels started in motion! My coworker and I had a Harry Potter party meeting yesterday. We planned some fun activities, tested out the crafts (such as Harry glasses using pipe cleaners, making Dumbledore puppets with lunch bags and making Weasley is Our King crowns), made a shopping list for the food items (Butterbeer i.e. cream soda and magic wands i.e. pretzel rods with frosting and jimmies) and I even wrote a press release to send to the newspaper.

I hope it's not a huge flop. I'm praying it's not a huge flop. This is the first time I've stuck my neck out at this job and I'm just hoping it's not too last minute for a good crowd to show up and prove my instincts right.

***And yes, I'm very proud of this title.


At 3:17 PM, Anonymous leah said...

Hells yeah! I'm seriously considering the need for a Potter Party at the academic, web-based library where I am employed. You have a much stronger case than I...

At 3:39 PM, Blogger Librarian Girl said...

At our library, we are having a birthday party for Harry Potter (on the 31st, you know!), and other Harry Potter related events. They are all HUGELY popular and well-attended, so I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised. Harry brings in the people!

Good luck, and way to push your great ideas through!

At 9:40 PM, Blogger Kelly said...

Congratulations on getting your way! I think you're right, it would have been kind of sad for the library to do nothing to celebrate the children's lit event of the decade.

I don't think the party could possibly be a flop. Not just because I have confidence in you, although I do, but because this is HARRY POTTER we're talking here. You can't go wrong!

Will there be a trivia contest? That would be a good activity for older kids.

At 11:23 PM, Blogger David said...

Is this the sort of thing, say, a particularly rabid evangelical church or a puritanical busybody on a mission could derail with cries of 'anti-Christian messages'?

At 6:10 AM, Blogger Deborah said...

Good for you! I'm sure it will be a blast.

At 12:30 PM, Anonymous marty said...

Excellent work! That's awesome! I'm sure it will be a huge hit - good luck and have fun!

At 5:54 PM, Blogger tinylittlelibrarian said...

I'm sure it'll be great! Good for you for doing it.

We did one at about book 3, I think, but even though it was pretty successful, for our branch, it tuckered us out too much and school-age programs don't really fly at my library. So this time, even though it's the last one, we left it to the bigger branches that have the space to hold huge programs.

The secret stash of books arrived at our library today, with the dire warnings attached about not opening til tomorrow on pain of death. At least one co-worker went in and stroked the box lovingly, though.


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