Librarian-students all had a chance to create/report out a program they developed as a final project. Each considered the goals of the program, format (active, passive), how much time/money it might take and described how it was or would be done. Amanda from WI shared this idea.
The Wizard of Oz cast party stemmed from our marketing wiz here at our library. The school district was putting on a Wizard of Oz play with all three schools, High school, middle and elementary. Almost all of our staff, has a child (or dog) in the play, and it came out at a meeting that we should do a “Cast Party” to celebrate such a wonderful thing happening in our community. What started out small, actually turned out to be an amazing event, not only for us, but for the entire community. It’s amazing how the community came together to celebrate.
This idea came about sometime in December, but we didn’t start planning anything seriously until sometime in January. We wanted to have the cast come and maybe do a small skit, and have some things to eat, and just have an overall place for the community to gather and spend time with the cast and characters.
Staff, prep and scheduling
In all honesty, it was a lot of our marketing specialist, Kelly that handled this program. She had the idea and she ran with it. We all helped in our special areas, but she was the one who made the calls, sent the emails and got everyone together. We have a very strong team, and we all work off each other. What stands out with this program, is how successful it was, and even though I am sure we won’t do another Wizard of Oz Cast Party, the concept can be used again.
Prepping overall was again, a lot of phone calls and emails. Our programming budget is slim to none, so we knew we had to ask for donations from the community. What ended up happening was we had not 1 but 4 local restaurants donated food, pizzas, breadsticks and chicken wings. Our local grocery store even donated a cake. A few of the restaurants even came up with their own specials to celebrate the performance the last weekend in March.
The one thing that we did have to do was make a backdrop from the play to have the kids pictures taken in front of with the cast members. We did this for$0.00! We made the entire thing from paper we had in our closet, streamers, chalk and paint.
Then for crafts we had mini autograph books that we printed mini pictures of scenes from The Wizard of Oz and had the kids glue them on and then were able to get all the cast members signatures. We were able to identify each character with a sticker name tag that we made with our sticker maker. We added stickers to the tables so they could decorate with those as well. We also had left over face paint from last years summer reading program kick-off party. We then had volunteers from the schools come in and do the face-painting.
With the background that we made, we also had a station that kids and families could have their picture taken with cast members and for a donation of $1.00 they could have them printed and picked up the following week. This not only cost us nothing, but brought in a little extra money that we gave back to the schools.
All in all, there was not too much prep involved besides picking up food and making the back drop, the event pretty much ran itself.
Day of the event
On the day of the event, some of us changed our schedule a little bit so that none of us went over hours. Thursdays we are open until 7pm, so we made it for that day so we didn’t have to stay later than normal. At 5pm, I went to our local restaurants and picked up the food they had donated and set it up in the back room. While I was doing that, the cast got dressed, and the kids and families had time to get their faces painted, and make their autograph books. When the cast members were ready, we called everyone into the gallery, and the director did a small introduction, and the cast members did a sneak peek from the play. Everyone loved it. After that, everyone came into the back room where we had tables all set-up with the food, and everyone was able to eat, mingle and have their pictures taken.
After all was said and done, we had an amazing event, that had a spectacular turn out, and even more, got the entire community together. The event, having had so much time and resources donated, cost us barely anything, besides a few fillers, like extra plates and napkins. It was so engaging, seeing all the kids and their families get together.