This outstanding library program was shared by Miki Wolfe, from the Sharon Public Library in Sharon, MA.
The library does a Peeps Diorama contest in June (they selected June as they are a religiously and culturally diverse community, and this way there's no association with any religious holiday. Plus it makes the Peeps much cheaper to purchase when they are on the discount rack!)
Each patron who registered for the program was given a package of Peeps, and basic instructions for the contest. They had a week to design a Peeps diorama based on the CSLP summer reading theme of "A Universe of Stories." While this is a suggestion, they celebrate the creativity of all their patrons and however they choose to interpret the instructions. No diorama is rejected for not following the rules.
The dioramas are displayed in the library's front lobby, and anyone who walks through the door can cast a ballot. Each ballot allows for two votes, as there were complaints last year about how difficult it was to choose only one favorite. Photos are also put in an album
and posted to the library's Facebook page
to allow for online voting (every like or comment counts as a vote.) People in the community really enjoy seeing the creative efforts of their fellow citizens, and it generates a lot of conversation and library visits.
It's an easy program to do, as the patrons are really doing all the work! Our Friends group purchases the Peeps, and they supply gift cards to local businesses are prizes (the kids don't know it, but they have arranged for everyone who entered this year to get a $5 gift card to the local ice cream shop.
Some final details from Miki: #9 won first place (the telescope Peeps.) In three days, we had 120 in-person votes, and over 380 online votes. Plus, we've gotten over 70 likes in one week on our Facebook page (our usual average is in the single digits.) For a fairly small-town library, this is huge! And it's so much fun to see our patrons get excited over an event