Star Wars in the Library: May the Force be with you(r library)

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A long time ago in a library far, far away…

Ok, actually it was just yesterday, and it was in a library in our galaxy…on our planet even. But it was still STAR WARS!

With the latest Star Wars movie coming out, the opportunity to host a Star Wars party for Teen Thing was too tempting. Teen Thing is our weekly after school program for middle school students, and this was the last program before a break for the Holidays.

Star Wars in the Library

Star Wars in the library has been done many times by many librarians. The fandom transcends generations and extends well beyond the movies. Even in our small, rural library, we have Star Wars fiction (and non fiction) for all ages- from beginning readers to young adult, graphic novels and adult. We have Star Wars legos, and a number of Star Wars video game titles are a hold request away.

Leveraging the fandom for Star Wars into the promotion of literacy is easy given the wide range of literature available. With all of the hype (which is justified from what I have heard!) around The Force Awakens, now is the perfect time to push the Star Wars books that already line your shelves.

Back to Teen Thing. As I said before, Star Wars has been done in libraries many times, so even a quick google or Pinterest search yields a plethora of ideas. This was definitely a good exercise for me to keep things simple and not go overboard, like I have a tendency to do.

Even still, I had to cut a number of activities from my plans due to a lack of space and time to set everything up. For example, I really wanted to bring out the nerf guns and have one teen shoot at another and have the second teen try to block the dart with a lightsaber. How fun would that have been?

I opted for a lightsaber tournament on our new-to-us Nintendo Wii, using the game ‘Star Wars Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels”. While not quite as intense as the competition in the Minecraft Hunger Games, the kids still had a blast and were cheering one another on.

I also had some advanced Star Wars coloring pages and a few of these awesome Star Wars snowflakes for the kids to do at their leisure. Star Wars themed food, and some awesome posters for Star Wars Battlefront (courtesy of the Finger Lakes Library System!) and a Star Wars playlist on our Amazon Echo completed the atmosphere.

Star Wars in the Library wouldn't be complete without lightsaber pretzle rods and tie-fighter cookies!
Star Wars in the Library wouldn’t be complete without lightsaber pretzle rods and tie-fighter cookies!

As we do every week at Teen Thing, each kid got to go home with a brand new book. This week, we had 4 different Star Wars books the kids could choose from. All of the books are also cataloged in our library, so they can read the ones they didn’t get.

I am not done with Star Wars in the library though! On December 29th, I’ll be holding a ‘Make a Lightsaber’ workshop during our Holiday Break Fun Day. I am also hoping to get a member of the 501st Legion to come to that, but we have very few members locally, and its during the day on a weekday, so I am not too hopeful that will happen.

May the Force be with you….and don’t spoil The Force Awakens if you have seen it yet! :)


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