COMO 2012 May the Magic be with you


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Joint presentation given by Amy Gratz, Andrew Shuping, Lee Twombly, and Amy Tureen at Georgia COMO 2012

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  • welcome everyone, we’re glad that you could join us for our presentation. my name is Andrew Shuping and with me are my colleagues and copresenters Lee Twombly, Amy Gratz, and Amy Tureen. We’re from Jack Tarver Library, Mercer university right here in Macon and our primary student population is about 2500 undergraduate students.
  • today we’re going to be talking about how we used popular culture within two different projects to not only get students attention, but to also create some new partnerships on campus. First up we’ll be talking about harry potter. Followed by star wars.
  • As Rufus has noted these are dark times, not just for the wizarding world but for libraries as well. For us, as an academic library, we’ve experienced decreases in gate counts, budget cuts, staffing, and more…so what’s a library to do to remain relevant? At Tarver we began looking at new ways to bring folks back to the library—a growing popular fiction collection, a growing graphic novel collection, and a growing collection of popular movies and TV shows located near elvis cardboard cutout. But there was still more that we felt we could do to help bring people into the library and let them see us as a group to collaborate with and to try new things. And the opportunity presented itself with the Harry Potter exhibit.
  • We viewed this exhibit as a way to not only increase the libraries’ visibility on campus, but to also build collaboration with other parts of the university who we didn’t normally work with. The first step, of course, was applying for the exhibit. We saw an advertisement inviting libraries to apply for the joint collaboration between NLM and ALA, titled Harry Potters’ World Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine. As we have a large medical school we saw this as a perfect opportunity to collaborate with our medical school library colleagues and bring something new to the campus.
  • Together librarians from both libraries worked on the application which included identifying a local expert in the Wizarding World, our Chair of English Department whose Wizarding name is Albert Bryan Loki Egbert Dumbledore. While our initial application wasn’t successful, NLM received so much interest for the exhibit that they created an additional copy and opened it up to all libraries that had applied, which we eagerly accepted.
  • Now the real work began. We began brainstorming on what we could do to have programs that reached out to the students. Out of our initial group we recruited two additional colleagues to help us plan for what we could do. While our initial planning was related to the exhibit—science and medicine—we realized that we could do even more with the exhibit than what we had initially conceived of. We didn’t have to just focus on science and medicine, but could still bring in aspects of the Harry Potter’s World that have permeated our culture and at is these aspects that our students are familiar with and have grown up with. These are the aspects that would help students view the library as something more than just a place to study, but a place to interact and partner with us as well. So we brainstormed. And we brainstormed big. We thought of everything from having a falconery expert come in and show us how that worked, to having a quiditch match, to having a chess exhibition, to having the music school do a full on concert of harry potter inspired music. We thought of the different areas of campus that could help us out, what schools we could work with.
  • one thing that we took into account with our planning process was preservation. We wanted to preserve the events, both in terms of photographs and videos, for showing future visitors what we’ve done and for people that weren’t able to make it to the events. The medical school photographer was gracious enough to offer his services to come to all of the lectures and taking photographs + coming over to the library to take photographs of the display on his own time and costs. And our campus videographer offered his services as a huge discount to record the lectures and provide them to us to upload to our repository. This was the first collection in the repository that wasn’t directly affiliated with special collection materials and helped show that the repository could be used for more.
  • now it was time to get a bit practical and think about the budget. What type of money did we absolutely need to make this happen? We knew that we were going to need shipping costs covered, as well as advertising and promotional costs, and we talked about showing films and knew we’d need to have that viewing rights covered, but what else? And how were we going to make it happen? We looked at few grants and ultimately decided to pass on them as they didn’t really meet our needs. Instead we were able to make connections within the university and the community. Tarver was able to come up with a chunk of change, the med library was as well, to make printing happen our campus printing services graciously offered to print posters and bookmarks and other advertisements for us, our campus bookstore (Barnes & Nobles) offered a $100 worth of merchandise that we were able to use as speaker gifts, and as I’ve already mentioned the photographer and videographer lent a hand. And other campus partners helped us with events as well. And this is was one of the best benefits of this exhibit, were these campus partners that we continue to collaborate with today.
  • in addition to the advertising services that were offered by the campus printing services, we also wanted to have a web presence. We brainstormed multiple ways to do this, such as having a specific twitter page and facebook page devoted to the event. In the end though we decided to use the tarver presences we had already built and created, we also ended up creating adverts and a full webpage to display events. This pages have also been preserved in our repository.
  • As mentioned earlier, once we had been given the opportunity to host “Harry Potter’s World” and done some initial brainstorming about programming, we chose events that would enable us to incorporate the books and films.
  • Since the exhibit itself did not contain the easily identifiable Harry Potter-esque images, it was important to tie in the familiar in order to spark interest with the students yet maintain the learning experience. Again, one of our primary goals was also to bring visibility to and bring students into the library. While the library hosted the actual exhibit, most of the events took place outside of the library.
  • Therefore, partnering with campus departments and local organizations would be vital for being seen as an active participant in the community and a ‘happening’ place for students to come. Finding outside groups to partner with was a two-pronged initiative. We identified departments and organizations that we already were directly or indirectly working with as well as recognizable to our anticipated audience.
  • Approaching faculty in the English and science departments was a no-brainer, and we were able to offer a weekly lecture series throughout the six-week duration of the exhibit. Four of the English faculty gave talks on various literary themes found in the Harry Potter series, and faculty from the science departments and the Medical School had a panel discussion regarding the role of science and medicine in the series.  We had between 130-140 attendees at our Opening Night and an average attendance of 70 at our other lectures. While many students were asked to attend their professors’ lectures, there was a wide variety of campus and community support as well.
  • The Opening Night reception included chocolate frogs and a Butterbeer concoction along with other edible goodies. Hagrid and Fang were a huge hit with everyone but particularly with guests who brought their young children.
  • The string quartet added ambience with the Harry Potter-themed music.
  • By happenstance, we contacted Macon’s Museum of Arts & Sciences after seeing their owl and snake exhibit as part of the promotion of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt.2” at the local movie theatre. This exhibit complemented and enhanced the “Harry Potter’s World” exhibit. Visually, it added more dimension and caught people’s attention.
  • In the books and movies, food and treats have character roles of their own. Since many of the students live and eat on campus, we approached Food Services about having a Harry Potter-themed food night. The result was Harry’s Hot Plates. We provided them with some menu ideas along with the recipes, and Food Services went above and beyond what we had anticipated. The cafeteria was decorated with the house banners, and signage advertising Harry’s Hot Plates.
  • For the grand finale, Tarver Library and the Medical Library collaborated with QuadWorks and College Hill Alliance with an outdoor double-feature of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pts. 1 and 2.” Given the high-rate of student participationin these two groups, partnering with them provided a boost to the number of students we wanted to reach.  College Hill Alliance, who sponsors events for the local community and provided the screen for the double-feature, reported that they had their largest attendance ever for their Big Movie Night. That number was 250. Members of the Mercer and local communities attended the event as well as participated in the Harry Potter costume contest. Participants in the costume contest came dressed as various characters from the books and films. Francar’s Buffalo Wings, a popular local eatery for the Mercer community, provided a menu of wings, brownies, and drinks for a minimal cost.With the participatory success of the exhibit along with the events, we didn’t want to lose momentum. At this point, we had gained recognition as a visible entity among the students as well as solidified partnerships with campus and local organizations. We now asked ourselves – where do we go from here?
  • Came to Tarver in January, heard about HP events, joined discussions about this question.Working with colleagues – ideas for marketing/outreach to students (water)Infographic– classroom/student orientationsSeveral things influenced direction of discussion(water)
  • Flyers appeared around campus, student made, heard students discussingWe were also interested in Star Wars (music)Connect with students (water)Started generating ideas for adapting star wars to IL conceptsMany Bothans or how…
  • “It’s a Trap!” could apply to using Google or Wikipedia as an academic source, or…
  • …this one, encouraging Luke to use the databases. (water)Lots of fun, but not very clear what we were going to do with these ideasMore brainstorming
  • Inserting avatar Jack as voice-over or character into images or clipsVideo tour of the library with librarian dressed as Jedi for guideReference marketing ideasMaking video tutorials SW themedPosting flyers around campus (water)Bookmarks for circulating itemsCardboard cutout for LibraryDressing up or decorating statues around campusTweaking library website to include graphics of millennium falcon or rebel fighters in a dog fight with a tie fighter(water)Not all of these were realistic so…
  • Narrow our focus on feasible ideas – time and budget constraintsDecided against ambitious plan like HP events, focused on a few do-able ideasPrimarily worked on ideas related to instruction program or classroomMuch more library focused, not across-campusMore manageable to sustain over a yearuniquely identifiable with the library, mostly IL, instead of the collaborative HP events(water)Chose projects to pursue based on: people availableTime commitment for projectResources needed to bring an idea to fruitionTried to work on ideas that tied to other goals, such as video tutorialsAfter choosing projects to work on, did more specific brainstormingIdeas that best fit the projectConnect to students (water)SW generation gap with studentsStudents – new trilogy and Clone Wars cartoonUs – classic trilogyQuotes and ideas from entire series have permeated pop cultureIncorporated bothCan see this in the video tutorials…
  • Used iconic scrolling text found in all 6 movies as inspirationLibrary avatar redrawn by Andrew to look like a JediLimited SW to intro and conclusion slides – avoiding over-use of themeBigger impact for less time commitment – same slides for all videosEasy to change in future – can change intro and…
  • …conclusion slides for all tutorials at once.Anticipate leaving up for a year, right nowGoing to play shortest video for full effect(water)Decided against musicCopyright and logisticsMay revisit later (water)Other main project – posters. First is…
  • CRAP test posterCC licensed images for backgroundAppropriate movie quote to tie images to IL conceptTweaked layout to mimic movie textAlso posted on website under Guides(water)
  • Plays on “It’s a trap” meme, less obviously SW themedLast poster is simplest…
  • Iconic image of Han in carbonite, encourages students to contact librarian if stuckAll posters hung in classroom…
  • …seen here (other posters on opposite wall) (water)Small – leave space for non SW posters in futureWill leave these up – goal is to have a space that encourages student learningAlso visually appealing – Yoda decalWill move on to different pop culture themes, still immersed in SW – decorations fit in with what’s coming next.
  • Hosting Publishers: Abrams, Chronicle Books, Dark Horse, Del Rey, DK Publishing, Random House Audio, Scholastic, Titan Magazines and Workman.
  • Star Wars Reads Day 2012 Locations
  • Wookiee Pies, Clones Scones, and other Galactic Goodies (Chronicle)
  • Wookiee Pies, Clones Scones, and other Galactic Goodies (Chronicle)
  • The Secret of the Fortune Wookie (Amulet)
  • The Secret of the Fortune Wookie (Amulet)
  • Star Wars: A Galactic Pop-Up Adventure (Scholastic)
  • Star Wars: A Galactic Pop-Up Adventure (Scholastic)
  • The Secret of the Fortune Wookie (Amulet)
  • Darth Vader and Son (Chronicle)
  • Trivia. WIN A WOOKIEE! Open to Mercer students and outsiders (friends of students)
  • -Find something your staff is passionate about, but make sure your patrons are passionate about it too-Be flexible: Some ideas might need to change according to budget, staffing, etc. -Select ideas with strong, recognizable icons.-Be willing to adapt: Most ideas can be rejiggered to appeal to any patron group or budget.-Plan early: Your ideas will change and you’ll need lots of time to reassess and reconfigure. -Consider scale: Large events & small events can be equally successful, but have slightly different aims.-Look to collaborate in new places, including outside the institution.-It’s not just events: Branding is a great way to incorporate themes!
  • COMO 2012 May the Magic be with you

    1. 1. Amy Gratz, Instructional Services LibrarianAndrew Shuping, Emerging Technologies & Services/Interlibrary Loan LibrarianAmy Tureen, Reference Services LibrarianLee Twombly, Outreach & Assessment Librarian
    2. 2. I. Andrew “Yoda” Shuping Harry Potter and PlanningII. Lee “Princess Leia” Twombly Harry Potter and ImplementationIII. Amy “R2D2” Gratz Star Wars and Information LiteracyIV. Amy “Boba Fett” Tureen Star Wars Reads Day Event
    3. 3. “These are dark times, there is no denying. Our world has perhaps faced no greater threat than it does today.” – Rufus Scrimgeour in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1Image courtesy of Warner Bros Pictures.
    4. 4. We could do this . . . and this . . . or that . . . and what or this . . . about this?Image courtesy of Microsoft
    5. 5. Shipping $500Copyright fees for movie $600-800Publicity $100Reception food $100Door prizes/gifts/etc. $50
    6. 6. Yorkshire Pudding Cottage Pie Baked Beans “Bat” Wings Roast Potatoes Cauliflower CheeseFish n Chips Pumpkin Pasties Butter Beer Treacle Fudge Toad in the Hole Chocolate Frogs Magic Wands Cockroach Clusters
    7. 7. Image courtesy of College Hill Alliance
    8. 8. - “It’s a trap!”Image courtesy of
    9. 9. “Use the Force Databases, Luke!”Image courtesy of
    10. 10. Image courtesy of
    11. 11. Image courtesy of
    12. 12. Making the magic happen at YOUR libraryImage courtesy of
    13. 13. Image courtesy of