One tried and true marketing technique for promotion is having a mascot. Tony the Tiger, the Philly Phanatic, Ronald McDonald, and so on. Libraries…. put their own spin on it. (Buddy the Beaver, for example). Some libraries dress up people in costumes related to book characters such as the Wimpy Kid or Clifford, but many libraries have a stuffed animal representing their library. Our neighboring library has a giant Sulley (from Monsters Inc) who goes on tours of local businesses. My enthusiastic library system youth services coordinator suggested our library should get on the bandwagon. I suggested using our high school mascot (a sheep), but she said we should not ride on the school’s tail. So, I decided to make my own- the reading monster.
This is a work in progress- I want to give him horns and permanent underwear. I plan on dressing him up in a superhero suit this year, and then he can have costumes for different events and themes.
I cut it out of a large old t-shirt I had (I’m working on a t-shirt quilt, yes, I’ve been working on that quilt for many years now, don’t judge!) I made a freehand design on newspaper, then had to cut down the limbs a bit, as I was not going for an octopus look. As well as stuffing it with poly-fill, I put a bag of beans in the base, to make it sit more steadily.
What will I do with it once I’m done, besides dress it up? Hmm. Send it on adventures, put it in “commercials”, stage tawdry scenes a` la the shelf elf, host a stuffed-animal party, and display it around the library.