Zombie Appreciation Day is a program for teens and adults that promotes library resources (streaming movies and comic books through the library website, print graphic novel collection) while having fun (playing games, watching a movie, and making crafts).
The goal of this program is to introduce people to new library resources as well as promote the library as a fun environment. I began planning three months ahead so I could get the word out and decide which zombie-themed crafts to do. Planning in advance allowed me to pull together the supplies as cheaply as possible and to create example pieces of the crafts to inspire participants. I also had to locate and obtain licensing (using http://library.movlic.com/ ) for a zombie movie and come up with zombie trivia.
Once our marketing department had the poster and fliers ready, I placed them around the first floor of the library, as well as in the TeenSpot department, with their approval. The library has a booth at both the Cincinnati Comicon and the Cincinnati Comic Expo during the month of September, and we had fliers for the program on our booth. We also advertised on Facebook and Twitter.
I planned four crafts. If you'd like to cut costs, cut down to two crafts because there is plenty to keep them occupied. Also, if you'd rather be a bit healthier while saving money, cut out the soda and candy — stick with bottled water and popcorn.
I bought the following:
- Oriental Trading Company: Cemetery Centerpiece ($2.98); Halloween Kids Scrap Pack ($1.78); Zombie Party Caution Tape ($2.88); Black & White Paper Stack ($4.88); Mini Zombie Head Popcorn Box ($6.25); Zombie Party Pack ($8.99); Zombie Totes (Quantity: 2, $13.50); Tootsie Roll Fruit Rolls ($4); and Zombie Rubber Ducks ($6.50)
- Hancock Fabrics: Cream and Gray Felt ($5.35)
- Kroger: 3 12-packs of Coca Cola Classic ($10); 24 pack of Kroger Bottled Water ($3.98)
- Amazon: Zombies Stained Glass Coloring Book ($6.99); Frankford Gummy Body Parts, 6.6-oz Bag in a Gift Box ($10.00); 3M Flexible Magnet Tape ($3.20); Silver Iron Hoop Earrings Components Kidney Ear Wires ($3.99)
- TOTAL: $95.27
I obtained black, white, red and green felt, glue, as well as black and red posterboard from the library’s central supply. Some of the bottle cap magnet/necklace supplies and candy used during the program were left over from a previous program. The Bottle Cap Starter Kit and Bottle Cap 1-Inch Epoxy Dots, Standard was purchased through Amazon for $18.47 and $6.44, respectively, for that earlier program.
For the collage-making, I asked family, friends and coworkers for magazines and comic books they no longer wanted. I provided the 1-inch craft punch (Martha Stewart, Amazon, $9.51) and the spare earring parts from what I had laying around the house.
Set up 15 tables with four chairs at each table. One hour before the program began, place tablecloths over half of the tables (where the crafts were done), set up the craft stations, set up the video screen, place the games and snacks on a table, put out all zombie-themed decorations, and put ice and drinks in the cooler.
Schedule of activities:
The program runs from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Throughout the program, participants can play games, color and make zombie-themed collages. Specific crafting, movie, and trivia events will take place on the hour, providing participants with options so they needn’t do the things that do not interest them.
1 - 2 p.m.: Craft: Zombie window art. Participants color a page from the "Zombies Stained Glass Coloring Book" with markers. After coloring is complete, use posterboard to make a frame for the image. After taping the frame onto the page, offer them the option of using a hole punch and string to hang it in their window or to leave it as is. Supplies needed: Zombies Stained Glass Coloring Book, markers, as well as tape and posterboard to make a simple frame.
2 - 3 p.m.: Craft: Zombie magnets and earrings. Watch this video  for a quick overview of how to make the magnets. Note that I do not use hot glue (I use Elmer’s Tacky Glue or Elmer’s Glue All) or magnetic buttons (I use magnetic tape) in my programs. For the earrings, follow the same instructions but instead of attaching a magnet or magnetic tape to the rear of the bottle cap, use the tool in the Bottle Cap Starter Kit to punch a hole in the edge of the bottle cap and feed through the Silver Iron Hoop Earrings Components Kidney Ear Wires. Supplies needed: Bottle Cap Starter Kit, Bottle Cap 1-Inch Epoxy Dots, 1-inch craft punch, 3M Flexible Magnetic Tape, Silver Iron Hoop Earrings Components Kidney Ear Wires, and donated magazines and comic books that feature zombies or print-outs about zombie-related movies, videogames and TV shows.
2 - 4 p.m.: Film, "World War Z" (2013). We’re streaming our film for the program through one of our streaming movie services and at the beginning of the film, I am going to make a few brief comments about the new streaming services available. I’ll also take this time to mention that our Hoopla eBook service now includes Image, DC, and Dark Horse comic books.
3 - 4 p.m.: Craft: Zombie flat felties. To make this, I am using a pattern, "How to Raise 16 Gruesome Felt Creatures from the Undead," from the book "Zombie Felties,"  but I modified the pattern instructions so that we don’t use stuffing, which makes it an easier and faster craft for participants. Supplies needed: Felt of various colors, glue, scissors, markers and posterboard trace patterns.
4 - 4:30 p.m.: Craft: Zombie pop culture trivia with prizes. Supplies needed: Zombie questions (easy to find on the Internet if you can’t make your own) and prizes!
There will be a display with zombie novels, graphic novels, survival manuals, as well as DVD documentaries and tv shows available for checkout. I plan on ending the program thanking everyone for coming and reminding them that we carry the full run of several great graphic novels, including The Walking Dead, iZombie, 28 Days Later, and more!
Be creative! Look for things you already own or leftovers from past programs you can add to the crafting material options or Zombie-related Halloween décor to make the atmosphere more festive. That's what I did! Look online for zombie-themed printable décor and crafting patterns — there are plenty available.
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