Young Adult



Cocktails & Coloring

The Pottsboro Area Public Library prioritizes events that create buzz in the community, enhance our image as an innovator, and build relationships with businesses and other partners. Our recent Cocktails & Coloring event accomplished all three.

These goals are important because we have reimagined the library’s role in our small town and have to fight the image of what the library used to be. We like to surprise people.

Several adult coloring programs had been offered at our library that resulted in attracting a few new users. We began leaving coloring supplies and sheets out as a passive activity. That’s important in our small library, because we don’t have sufficient staff to offer as many programs as we would like. When researching adult coloring programs, we came across several pubs that hosted coloring events. An idea was born to partner with a new distillery in a nearby town to host a joint event. (Breweries would be another good venue.)

Advanced Planning

Cocktails & Coloring was planned as a private event on a Friday evening from 6 to 8 p.m., to be hosted at the distillery.

As plans were under way, we connected with a local nonprofit — a combination of two colleges and professional musicians — that provides high-quality musical performances in our rural area. They are undergoing their own transformation and working to broaden their audience. They agreed to provide jazz musicians (saxophone and keyboard player). 

After discussing various options and not knowing how many people to expect, a food truck was asked to provide the food.  I think the food truck increased the “fun factor” of the event, but we could have also provided popcorn, pretzels and similar snacks. 



The distillery we partnered with has an email distribution list of 800 people, many of whom are not our regular patrons. The event was posted at the distillery and publicized through their distribution list and social media.

The organizer of the musicians also distributed the promotional materials through his social media followers and his 200-member distribution list. The director even live-tweeted the event. 

We advertised through our newsletter, on our digital boards at the library and in the community, as well as on our website and social media. Each organization helped promote the others through our joint advertising.

We were pleased to learn that a local bank, without our knowledge, started advertising the event on their own digital billboard. That speaks to the level of buzz created!



Our goal was more program than fundraiser, although we did end up clearing about $800 from the event, thanks to the suggested donations we collected. 

We actually had all the supplies for in-house activities, but you would need the following supplies for the coloring:

Prismacolor 3598T Premier Soft Core Colored Pencils,Soft,Thick Core Pencils for a Smooth Color Laydown, Pigments, Assorted Colors, 48 Pack, $31.99  

Sargent Art Premium Coloring Pencils, Pack of 50 Assorted Colors, 22-7251, $3.99 x 4 = $15.96 

Magic Mural, $61.60


Day-of-event Activity

Our volunteers arrived about an hour before the start of the event, and a group arrived shortly thereafter ready to get started. They went to work on the mural, which was located near the entrance.

Our Friends group treasurer and president set up a table outside the front door and collected a suggested donation from those who wished to give ($10 per person) and gave them a “Geek the Library” sticker and a ticket to enter the drawing for the giveaway. They also collected contact information for people who requested to be added to our distribution list.

About 80 people attended. Among those attendees were some of the movers and shakers from neighboring towns who sit on foundation boards to which we submit grant requests. One mentioned to me that she was glad to have something fun to attend because she moved to our area from a larger city and missed interesting activities.

The attendees were a younger demographic than most of our usual supporters. Many posted pics to their social media accounts. We see this as important to sustain a vibrant Friends of the Library group.

Program Execution

Not only did the distillery create signature cocktails for our event, they made coloring sheets featuring their products and logo. A bottle of vodka was donated as a giveaway.  

The library's contribution was materials for coloring: a variety of gel pens, colored pencils, crayons, coloring sheets printed on cardstock and a large “Color Me” Magic Mural. We set out about 15 different coloring sheets (each stack held on a clipboard) and had empty clipboards for people who were seated without a table surface to color on.  

Representatives from the three participating organizations debriefed after the last guests left. We all felt very pleased with the outcome and talked about how we’ll partner going forward. Now to think of the next big thing to top ourselves!  

Supporting Materials

Slideshow Images