The theme this summer was Paws to Read, and what a versatile and fun theme for the youth services librarian! I had to create an idea to informally display the progress of kid who finished the summer reading program. There were many ideas that my fellow librarians and I discussed, but I kept coming back to this thought of dog bones. The children would write their name on a dog bone and we would feed Rocket the Dog. Rocket was a large plush stuffed animal who was cozy and welcoming. The hugs and smiles he received over the summer was immeasurable!
We needed a place to display Rocket and his food, so of course, the only solution was a doghouse. I contacted the local Home Depot, who was often very generous with kids building programs, and asked if they would be willing to donate supplies or knew of someone we could hire to build the doghouse. They volunteered a wonderful local artist who creates displays at their store! He and I met to discuss the idea and our display challenges such as space and size. What a fantastic doghouse did we receive! Rocket had his own mailbox with a hinged lid so kids could put their bones inside and we could visually track the progress of all the ‘food’ he was eating. The characters from his book were also with him, and he even had a little white picket fence around his art.
The simple idea of a display turned into a complete art exhibit installation and I was so proud of the results and impressed with the artist and partner support!