Saturday, June 7, 2014

Guerilla Marketing for Summer Reading

Every year as children's librarians we ask ourselves, "What am I going to do when I visit the schools to promote summer reading?" We love schools visits. They have a direct impact on our summer reading statistics. Where else can you talk to a captive audience of 100 + kids who begin coming in THAT DAY to sign up? I cannot tell you how many years I have seen the summer reading report at the end of the year change based on which elementary school I had/had not visited in previous jobs. But once you get your foot in the door, how do you excite an auditorium full of kids who are eagerly counting down the days till the school is over? Some librarians act out plays, sing songs, dress in costumes, bring props or just rely on some personality and a loud voice.  This year, with science as the theme, it was an easy sell for me to incorporate littleBits into our poster props. Although ideally I had wanted to master Arduino by now, we have been too busy planning for summer events to make my interactive wall. I decided to use the next best thing, my favorite toy, littleBits.

Our slogan this year is Fizz, Boom, READ! with some catchy graphics thanks to the CSLP. My poster theme was based on the 6 questions to ask during the scientific process: What, Where, When, Why, Who and How? These were used to explain our summer reading program rules and events. The What question, as seen behind the main poster that stood for what else can I do besides READ? was an entirely different poster to highlight just events. It was great having some prompts to make sure I didn't forget anything.

For the main design of the logo using littleBits I wanted to get as close as I could to a FIZZ and BOOM with my bits so I used the vibrating motor underneath the Fizz beaker for a fizzing/buzzing sound.  The Boom beaker got an LED bargraph because of the clever placement of the OO's.  I really wanted to use the buzzer for BOOM but if anyone has ever played with that one they know that sound gets old FAST. The READ got the servo motor because it's flashy and fun. I used lots of tape.

littleBits used:  power, wire(s), vibrating motor, servo motor, bargraph, button
Once we are done with school visits, I think I might rig up the motion sensor in place of the button.

Fizz Boom Read Summer Reading Poster from Duxbury Free Library on Vimeo.

It worked like a charm. The first question I was asked after going through my explanation of the program was "What's that?" and of course everyone wanted to press the button after.  I told them they had to come into the library to press it, how's that for marketing?

1 comment:

  1. Great job re-inventing summer reading program for the Maker Generation, Jessica! I'm excited to get the summer going, as well! Minecraft, Backyard Ballistics, Writing, Knitting - there are SO many ways to make things at the library! Sign up, start reading, and check out all the cool programs for people 2 - 102!


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