Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Programming: Twilight Prom

It's time for a short break from book talk here at Librarian by Day, to talk about a recent program with a literature connection: the Twilight Prom event at my library, part of our Teen Read Week celebration.

I will be the first to say that I don't care for Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series. Yet because teens love it, and because it was such a natural fit for this year's TRW theme, I decided that I wanted to offer a Twilight-themed event. I decided to go with a "prom", an event that would offer a few activities but primarily would be about allowing teens to interact together and talk about their favorite books.

The decorations were simple: the library system already owned some spooky trees, and I used them throughout the room, with red and black tulle, red ribbons, or white spiderwebs draped through the branches. Tables were set up with small battery-operated tea lights and different materials tossed on them--more of the tulle and the ribbon that was used in the decorations. The room lights were kept off, to enhance the mood.

For activities, there was a Twilight series trivia contest, one that many of the teens attending thought was very difficult. There was three sheets of poster board, where teens could write what they liked best about the Twilight series, who their favorite character was, and what their favorite moment was. An apple was ready for teens to recreate the cover of Twilight. Door prizes were awarded throughout the evening. Music that had inspired Stephenie Meyer while she wrote the Twilight series played along with different photos that promoted the Twilight movie. Every so often, we watched one of the trailers for the upcoming movie as well. And of course, there was food!

Perhaps most exciting activity was the opportunity for teens to either get shimmery makeup to look like a vampire, or get vampire bites applied to their necks. This was done by future professionals from the local beauty school. My library has a long-standing relationship with this school, so it was easy to arrange this: I just had to email the head of the school and ask if this would be an event that the future professionals would be interested in. And it gave the whole event a great touch.

Three members of the library's TAB helped during the event by passing out door prize tickets, explaining the trivia contest, and keeping an eye on the refreshment table. Staff members were on hand to help with security; this event was held after the library was closed, so they helped ensure that no teens got out of the lobby area and into the actual library itself. The budget for this event came to around $100, which was primarily the decorations and the food. The door prizes were mostly books, ones that I had collected at various conferences. I had been lucky enough to win a copy of Breaking Dawn through YALSA's TRW registration contest, and that was a featured prize, along with a Twilight series bag that was distributed by Little, Brown during ALA Annual.

The best part was that eighteen teens came to this event and enjoyed themselves. I received much positive feedback from the teens in attendance. In addition, a parent left a comment through the library's website comment form, saying how much his teens had enjoyed the event.

Feel free to take a look at the pictures from this event to get ideas. The initial springboard for my planning was a post about vampire parties at Alternative Teen Services, as well as the programming ideas on the YALSA TRW wiki. If you're planning a Twilight event of your own, good luck!


Maggie Stiefvater said...

Okay, can I just say that I love that you threw a TWILIGHT prom even though personally you didn't like the books? To me, that's the perfect teen librarian -- you're listening to what teens like and adding to that instead of censoring or pretending they don't exist.

So, from one not-Twilight-fan to another, :D

melissa said...

Thanks, Maggie! I think that regardless of how I feel, if there's something that teens like, I should do my best to support it. Glad to hear I'm not the only one who thinks that way. :-)