Star Wars is all that my range of geekdom wants to talk about- what happens next, did you see that, did you catch that reference, why are they waiting until 2017 for the next one, etc., etc., etc. Needless to say, my tweens and teens are geeking out as well- since Star Wars is such a part of our culture it’s hard to imagine them not getting even a little excited for it. I was discussing Star Wars programming with a friend the other day, and we were discussing the likelihood of NOT finding an area that is celebrating Star Wars Day (May 4th) or Revenge of the Fifth this year, and how to bring Star Wars into libraryland without being like everyone else.
And that got my brain going. Because really, you can tie in Star Wars anywhere with just a little imagination, and with the reboot there are now a host of books, tech, games, and toys that can support your programming desires. All you need is a little imagination. Jump down to go through ideas for January through May!
If you haven’t already acknowledged the arrival of the new movie, this would be a perfect time to start!
- Book displays with not only the new titles but also the older ones within the adult science fiction; don’t forget to highlight the AV and digital collections as well
- Create a take-one craft corner one afternoon for your tweens and teens with easy Star Wars themed crafts, especially if they’re having testing this month like a lot of school districts. Cubees, coloring sheets, duct tape, and bookmarks are always a hit.
- Print off some Star Wars characters, laminate them (you can always use packing/book tape), and then scatter them around the library and have a self-directed scavenger hunt with clues printed on a sheet tweens and teens can pick up at the desk. Those that complete them correctly can win a small prize or candy or be entered into a raffle.
Did you know 2016 is a leap year? Have some extra fun that day and make it a Temple of the Jedi day.
- Star Wars is filled with broken hearts and love stories: Han and Leia, Anakin and Padme, Rey and Finn. From having a card creation party to a full out celebration, it wouldn’t be hard to have a death star party.
- February 17 is the 5th anniversary of AASL’s Digital Learning Day. Those not in an educational library setting can celebrate this day by putting together digital learning programs for their tweens and teens- anything from highlighting your databases and digital resources to putting together tech workshops that teach the basics of programming such as Scratch. And if you happen to have protocol or astromech droid crafts as well, who could blame you?
- This year is a leap year, and so we have the elusive 29th of February. Celebrate it by having a Cantina party, a Temple of the Jedi reunion, or a Sith meeting to plan out your next attack. Bring out your Star Wars games, crafts, and other things that you can think of to celebrate.
More school districts have spring breaks during this month than any other, which means huge celebrations for school librarians and a deep breath for most public librarians!
- YALSA’s Teen Tech Week is March 6-12 this year, and the theme is Create It @ Your Library! Let your geek flag fly by creating junk drawer robots– after all, that’s how Anakin built his speeder and C3Po in the first place.
- Not feeling that adventurous? Check out sites such as Make for robotic kits and ideas to piece together.
- Robots and electronics not your thing? Check out pinterest for a gaggle of ideas for crafts. March is national craft month, after all.
- Not enough staff for that because (in my experience) everyone wants to head for the hills in March because of spring break? Have a movie marathon without breaking the law. Show Serenity (is there ever a time NOT to show Serenity? I mean really), Guardians of the Galaxy, and Flash Gordon, among others.
April has both Drop Everything and Read (April 12) and Dia de los Ninos/Dia de los Libros (April 30)
- If you haven’t done anything for DEAR Day before, this year is the time to start. Coordinate with city and school partners to find times where students, city councils and other important personages can be caught dropping everything and reading to show the importance of reading- whether it’s hardback, paperback, magazines or digital. Organize a time after school for your teens to be caught in the library, or create a photo booth with props so they can show off their favorite book. Teens could post their favorite read on social media using a specific hashtag, and you, your manager, and selected others can pick winners for prizes like donated books. Reach out to your local 501st to see if they can invade the library- mine did this a few years ago for a different program and they interacted with the kids brilliantly. I still have some framed pictures of Lord Vader reading his own biography surrounded by kids, and Stormtroopers playing pool with my tweens.
- Dia de los Ninos/Dia de los Libros is April 30, and celebrates children, families and reading. There are a ton of resources on the Dia website to get you started. With Star Wars: The Force Awakens reaching a more diverse audience, and family being such a huge theme within the movies themselves, we need to celebrate the cultures and families within our libraries.
May the 4th Be With You (May 4th, Light Side). Revenge of the Sith (May 5th, Dark Side).
- Celebrating May the 4th Be With You or Revenge of the Sith? Definitely reach out to your local 501st ASAP- they will probably be doing their own thing on those days (their national geek thing), but if you can shift your library celebration to a different day and work with them, it will definitely be worth the wait.
- Want to fly against the grain? Celebrate Star Wars on Free Comic Book Day. Held on the first Saturday in May (this year it’s May 7th), local comic shops hand out free comics to their patrons and celebrate everything comic related, and it also marks the start of the comic-related movie blockbuster summer season. This year we’re getting Captain America: Civil War, but there’s no reason why you can’t have a little Force in there as well. Reach out to your local comic store ASAP to partner up, and you might be able to order comics from them yourself to hand out to your patrons. The comics are not free to the stores, so remember to budget for any comics you’d like to hand out.
- Go retro with a low tech gaming tournament: let the Wookie win by setting out Chess sets and Go boards and teach the tweens and teens how to play, or source out Star Wars themed games such as Monopoly and Battleship, or hold open tables to those who play Star Wars Armada.
- Have a self directed corner where tweens and teens can make buttons, bookmarks, and other things where they can create things showing which side they are on, and learn to write their name using Aurebesh. A variant first appeared in Return of the Jedi, but the full alphabet was created by Stephen Crane and has been adopted into all things Star Wars, including the official badges and movies.
Curious for more? Check out Star Wars Reads Day Programs for more ideas while waiting for Part 2!