Making Halloween Memorable in Your Library


I might be Shelley 364 days of the year but one day a year it seems I always become Velma Dinkley, of Scooby-Doo fame. You see, when you work in libraries there is always a fascination with Halloween and costumes, and at the last two libraries I have worked for, I have become the designated Velma Dinkley. At the public library, I was accompanied by Daphne on Halloween and at the university I was accompanied by Shaggy for a ‘Who Done It’ event. I even had a different Shaggy (my real husband) at a Halloween party a few years back. Jinkies!

But what fuels our fascination with being someone else for a day? I think it’s that escape from our own reality. A time to say I can be someone else for a moment and fully embrace this new character who is somewhat different from myself. That is how we ‘sell’ books to students and patrons, isn’t it? A book allows a person to be someone else, peek into someone else’s life, or embark on a faraway adventure. Above all else, we can escape from our everyday worries and commitments when we indulge in a few hours of reading.

Halloween really is a special day in libraries. Librarians and staff usually see kids and some adults dressed up as their favorite characters, animals, or even fruit (yes, I saw a college student dressed as a banana last Halloween). We also get to make creepy displays and have storytimes about our favorite characters, such as Clifford, Franklin, Max, and Froggy, getting ready for trick-or-treating. Some libraries even get the privilege of showing scary movies or holding best costume events.

Whether you realize it or not, your students and patrons will remember these special moments you spend with them over the next few weeks in anticipation of and celebrating Halloween. I still remember my school librarian showing us Poe’s Tell-Tale Heart. It was an old black and white filmstrip that after watching, I did not sleep for days. I can still see the image of the chair and the floor. There was no way I would ever read Poe’s book after that. Even now, though I still can’t watch scary movies, I can still be Velma. Happy Halloween everyone!



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