15 November 2011

Where the Wild Things Are…in the Library!

Since August our library has been developing and rolling out publicity materials to promote a series of events related to an exhibit currently on display at our Headquarters Library. The exhibit—courtesy of a variety of organizers and sponsors—is entitled In A Nutshell: The Worlds of Maurice Sendak. It will be traveling the nation and stopping at our library to be on display from November 2 through December 16. The Alachua County Library District Headquarters is the only Florida library to host this exhibit.

The American Library Association (ALA) provided a sponsor logos and Sendak illustration images, as well as a highly detailed 11 page instructional manual that, among other things, provided exacting language for how to credit any and all images when used. Additionally, as per the grant agreement for which funding made the exhibit possible, copies of all promotional materials used were to be mailed to the ALA for their records and appreciation as well.

In addition to the exhibit, a variety of related Sendak and/or his book Where the Wild Things Are spin-off events would take place at different branches throughout the Library District. Events included:

• An exhibit opening ceremony event featuring speaker John Cech—an author, Director of the Center for Children's Literature and Culture, and Professor of Children's Literature. Cech will speak about Sendak's influences on children's literature.

• An exhibit closing event entitled “The Immigrant Life & Maurice Sendak,” featuring Dr. Ruth Lowery, professor in the College of Education and expert on immigrant literature, who will discuss the experience of immigrants and how it is reflected in literary works for children.

• A children's storytime puppet show by the Headquarters Puppeteers in their adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s book Where the Wild Things Are, which will include both human and fabricated characters.

• Sendak related Pre-School Storytimes in three different branches for children.

• Children's film events in two branches showing the movie Where the Wild Things Are.

• A maskmaking event for children.

• A Wild Wear for the Rumpus event for children.

• A Wild Rumpus Party for children.

• And a Wild Things Build a Boat event for children.

To promote the full complement of these events, the design department utilized almost every possible marketing tool it had available. Here's the volumous line-up:

175x quarter-page exhibit invitations
3 different black/white and colour print ads in local publications
3x 11x17 inch signs for the exhibit
2x 8.5x11 inch signs for the exhibit
50x 5.5x8 inch exhibit informational handbills
1x 45x45 inch large format display exhibit poster
1x 30x30 inch large format display puppet show poster
2x 23x34 inch large format display puppet show posters
2x 11x17 inch puppet show posters
1x website banner for exhibit opening event
1x website banner for exhibit closing event
1x website banner for puppet show
1x blog icon
1x e-mail blast image
1x public service announcement (PSA) for the opening event
1x public service announcement (PSA) for the closing event
1x article in the Library quarterly newsletter, THINK...
Listing of each event in the program directory section of THINK...

A selection of the many promotional collaterals used to publicize
the Sendak exhibit and associated events.
 Additional publicity was generated by individual library branch event coordinators and the public relations and marketing director, including online event listings, library branch displays, and press releases. Even I'm not aware of the full scope of publicity that may have occurred outside of my own department, but as you can see, promotional saturation was considerable.

Cutting out scanned, printed, then foam core board mounted book characters
for placing into a youth services diorama display box. 
Another interesting promotional feature was created by Headquarters Youth Services librarians. They built and installed a scenic diorama into what we refer to as a "peep box"—a 3x3x2 foot wooden cabinet that has holes cut out of the front cabinet doors so people can see inside the box. Librarians scanned images from the book Where The Wild Things Are, then fabricated a diorama scene inside the cabinet. While they worked on pasting up images for a backdrop and creating free-standing trees out of cut paper and old cardboard tubes, I cut out scanned images of the book's characters that had been spray mounted onto foam core board so they could be suspended from the cabinet's interior ceiling into their diorama positions. The result was a nifty peep box scene for anyone willing to get down on their hands and knees to look through the cabinet door holes.

How timely: a Wild Things gift card!
In two unrelated yet ironically semi-related events, additional Where The Wild Things Are happenings occurred for me personally. In October, my sister sent me a Barnes & Nobel bookstore gift card that displayed an images of Where The Wild Things Are scenes—and she had no idea that I had even been working on promoting the Sendak library events!

Another event occurred one morning when I arrived at work and immediately spotted a large spider poised on the wall directly above my computer. With a leg span almost the size of the palm of my hand, I first thought it might be a faux plastic or rubber spider left over from a recent library Halloween display—put there as a practical joke to spook me. I stood up on my chair and cautiously leaned in to take a good, long look at it until I finally decided that it was definitely no rubber toy, then hurried to find something I could capture it in before it scampered off to unknown regions only to find its way onto me when I least expected.

With no empty container in the art room, I eventually found myself down the hall in the employee break room where I located an large, empty plastic Tupperware™ bowl and lid. I hurried back, hoping the spider would still be where I last saw it. I was happy to find that it was, so I carefully covered the spider with the bowl (with a sigh of relief, I might add), then slid the lid in between the wall and bowl until the spider was inside. I took it outside to a creek behind the library where I released it back "into the Wild." All this—but not before I could chronicle the event just for you! (see photos). And oh yes…not to worry: I didn't forget to wash that person's Tupperware™ before I put it back in the break room. Shhh...they'll never know!

All things considered, it just goes to show that there's all kinds of Wild Things in the library!

02 November 2011

Library Monthly Event Signs, November 2011

November event posters utilized a variety of layouts based on the same theme.
It's autumn again, and also time for another set of monthly event listing signs for the ACLD branch libraries. I typically begin working about two to three weeks in advance of when I want to get these signs to the libraries. I pull event listing text from the library website calender and repurpose it for the printed signs. Along the way, text is edited and styled, clip art and/or public domain photography is used for visuals, then proofs are sent out to branch and program managers to review for correctness. A couple rounds of edits are allowed, then once approved, printed out and sent via our Library courier team to each branch that uses the event listing signs (three of the 11 currently do not due to lack of events or a preference to create their own). 

The entire production process is pretty smooth, albeit a little time consuming. The end result, however, produces a common styling throughout the library district when seen (with exception to one non-compliant branch that creates its own).

Friends of the Library Book Sale

It's that time of the year again. Time to clear out the warehouse of donated books and cleaned out library collections...all to the delight of book readers everywhere. This annual event takes place over 5 days in October and I'll be there to take photos during one of their sale days.

In the meantime, I've developed a few items to promote it including:
1x web ad / webslide (shown above)
1x Television public service announcement (PSA)
1x THINK... newsletter article layout

I pulled together a variety of unrelated free-to-download vector art icons I had collected over the recent months to create the designs, adding and subtracting details from nine different icons to work them into my concept, then added a Friends of the Library logo to one for the finishing touch.