Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A library meme takes flight

This post isn't so much detailing some cool #n00brarianing, as much as it is my delight to be involved in an awesome library meme that has spread through the Internet recently. A meme, as it is historically known by the all-knowing Wikipedia, is "an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture. A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena."

Lately, memes have been known on the Internet for their absurdity and general hey-lookit-this-ness. Examples would be the Mr. T/Chuck Norris/Jack Bauer jokes, Winning at Everything , Rick-Rolling, and most recently distressing to me, the "All the Things" which takes the best blog post ever on the Internet out for salad and breadsticks after promising Italian and never calls it again.

And then there's the meta-meme. Thanks, reddit.
Last, week, however, I discovered the librarian blogosphere spreading a real-life meme through the Internet, and it has been actually useful. "Ginger-Who", making gingerbread men into book characters, started [on the Internet] at Merideth Says. She originally had teen volunteers make the display. This was adapted to guessing game in the teen area of cinjoella's and Eruanna317's libraries. I discovered this by following Abby the Librarian on Twitter. Besides finding three new blogs to add to my reader, I also was inspired to get together with a colleague and create the guessing game for picture books and chapter books. Here's what came out:

L to R: Fancy Nancy, Spongebob, Knuffle Bunny, Froggy

"Guess Who" was the adaptation for the little ones at the Story Action Pod. There were eight in total; the ones listed on the left, as well as Skippyjon Jones, Pigeon, Clifford and Mouse (and a cookie).

There's a bag on the pod with the titles inside it. Kids reach in and match the book's cover to the character. They get so excited when they get them right, and they don't need help from their parents!

L to R, top to bottom: Franny K. Stein, Garfield, Geronimo Stilton,
Harry Potter, Origami Yoda, Greg Heffley, Clementine, Lunch Lady
The "Ginger Who" game is posted right by the New Fiction section, covering up some permanent signage to be at the kids' level (colleague: "Do you really think they won't find the chapter books without that sign?" *points to the adjacent side of the same pillar to find identical signage*)

Underneath is a "cheat sheet" since the popularity of chapter book characters varies among different kids, but they don't have to use it.

We were originally were thinking about giving out prizes or something, but for the past week the displays have really worked for themselves as that "stealth programming" we've been trying a lot lately. It's also been called "passive programming", I know, but that just has such a different connotation to me.

At any rate, this was fun and took minimal time to put together. AND it fits perfectly with the Cookie Club program we're running right now.*

*I just realized I haven't yet written a post about Cookie Club yet. December needs more posts like I need more hours in the day!
EDIT: Luckily for me, Marge wrote it up.

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