Laser Tag in the Library

This last Friday my co-worker Ryan and I hosted a Laser Tag in the Libray program for teens. Our library is closed on Fridays so Ryan and I hustled over after our other jobs to get things set up. This was our second time hosting this program so we were able to get set up done much quicker.

A couple of months ago while on vacation another co-worker of ours stopped by the library in that area (as library workers naturally do) and brought up back a program brochure for their system. They had so many awesome programs and we naturally latched on the Laser Tag program, because you know Laser Tag. While researching we came across a website from another library system which broke down their programs by cost and how they ran the program. Low and Behold they had a Laser Tag program on there.

This page recommend a geat company called Laser Tag Source (http://lasertagsource.com/) where you can rent laser tag guns. Last time we did this program we had 24 sign ups and 16 teens show up. We wanted to ensure we would get more teens so this time around we allowed 30 sign ups and had 24 teens show up. We rented 20 of the Hornet guns at $12 a gun. It is an easy to use website and easy process once the guns are rented (if you have any question we recommend calling them as their emailing system is slow to get back). They ship them to you about 2 days before your event with the guns, exra batteries, and a small screwdriver. Then the day after your program you slap on the shipping label (which is included) and drop it off at the closest UPS.  I would suggest buying your own package of batteries as well. For the 20 guns we ordered they gave us about 30 batteries, but each gun needs 6 batteries.

The Hornet

We didn’t play around with the guns this time around and unfortunately many of them could have used batteries right away. We found that quite a few where on their last battery leg the night of.

We had 24 teens (or ages 8-18  I should say). We ordered pizza from Little Caesars, had water and soda, and put out our board games in the “wait area”. For the library area we put several tables on their sides as barricades, but other than that the library was already ready for the game.

We had a blast! We played several team games and then 2 rounds of solo play in the 2 hours we ran the program. This group was rather different from our first group. The first group we had was great. Respectful of one another and there to have fun. They made sure to thank us for the program. One grandmother noted that her granddaughter was hugging people goodbye who she has just met.

The second group was slightly different. I’m not sure if it was because of the number or the gun issues, but we did have several kids turning their guns off and on again when they died and a couple who just did not want to listen (or were just way too hyped up). They weren’t bad, but I think next time we’ll aim for a smaller group again.

We had some prizes they could chose from as well. Ryan and I donate items we do not want from subscription boxes to a prize box we share for any programs we need prizes for (this I would change. Too many geek and horror movie prizes). I was able to freshen it up with several book themed prizes and Disney prizes, but I still think we need more variety.

The cost of the program was around $380. The guns came to $320, $50 for 10 pizzas, and $20 for drinks.

Overall it was a successful program once again and I think the kids had a great time. Even with the gun malfunctions this is something that we do not have in this area and is something new they can do. We had several returners who are already ready for the next Laser Tag night and many new kids who said they can’t wait to come back.

This is a video from the last time we did this program.

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Gingerbread Houses Program FTW!

After month’s of unsuccessful programs I finally hit one out out of the park.

In December I ran a Gingerbread House Decorating programs for children and had a whopping 65 people show up. I only had 3 sign-ups and was expecting maybe 20. My co-worker make a joke that as long as they weren’t lined up again the glass like at the Lego Club I should be fine. 5 minutes there they were lined up at the glass. I needed an emergency powered sugar run which was the only downfall.

Other than that it was great. I heard a couple children say they had never decorated a gingerbread house before which was awesome and for some of those children we known their financial situation which made their comment that much better. I made about 55 gingerbread houses with the milk cartons we saved over summer and I had about 4 leftover. Definitely work the hours it took to make them.

Overall it was a successful program and put some wind in my somewhat flagging sails.

Don’t let the pigeon ruin the library book!

Any person who works in a library knows the pain of mistreated books. Having a book returned  that has been waterlogged, chewed on, ripped, or colored in and no person to confess to the damage. Teaching children at a young age to appreciate library books is such an important lesson.

I ran across this coloring book featuring a favorite pigeon which would be a perfect way to begin teaching children the importance of treating things carefully. This would work well with a storytime, passive programming, a class visit, or to use at home not only for those library family’s but for those kids who love this loud bird.

pigeon

Source: http://shadesoftangerine.blogspot.com/2016/02/printable-library-coloring-book.html

Hilda the Hippo and A Class Visit

Today for our youth services meeting we had to do a book talk on a children’s book with a female lead. My book talk was mostly just rambling because I got super nervous, but it went okay. The book I chose was “Hilda Must Be Dancing” which is one of my favorite children’s books. I love the pictures and Hilda’s outfits. My co-worker noted also how body positive it was and it’s true that Hilda the Hippo is a big lady who wants nothing more than just to dance. It’s one that I recommend time and time again, because it’s such a fun book (and the children love Hilda’s dancing outfits).

hilda

 

I was supposed be off on Monday so I could begin my Saturday rotation, but one of my co-workers asked if  I could do a couple of class visits and I agreed. It makes me very nervous and I’m a little bummed not to be off all day (I was hoping to work at my other job), but I know that this opportunity is not only going to teach me about how class visits work here, but also it hopefully makes me more available to assist with similar programs in the future. I may not be active in youth programming, but I know that I need to take the chances where they exist to have some involvement which is great.

it’s for a group of 3rd graders so I was thinking about reading “Leonardo the Terrible Monster” or “Mole Rat Gets Dressed” both by Mo Willems. They’re fun books that I think even 3rd graders can find enjoyable.