Maker Marvelous: Book Page Pumpkins

Hey dear readers, Gwyneth here!  I haven't had a guest post in 7 or so years, but I thought this was such a great idea I begged my dear fellow HCPSS Teacher Librarian, Danielle Du Puis, (and my former student teacher!) to let me share this super ....actually, ......marvelous Maker Idea!
Confession: I LOVE Pumpkins (but NOT Pumpkin Spice!)
Pumpkins are perfect for the Fall season...from September to December, a Book Page Pumpkin is great to create! Now, for the details.

Book Page Pumpkins
At the beginning of the school year I started my 9th year as a high school media specialist (14th year as a media specialist overall). I did what I do at the start of every year - unpacked my desk, ordered new books, prepped for my first week of lessons, talked with teachers to schedule media orientations, and got ready to greet our new students. However, after unpacking my things from the summer school pack up, I had some difficulty finding supplies that I needed that I knew I had previously purchased.
As I began digging through media closets, I teetered between shame and excitement at the things I found - pens and projector lamps from the late 70’s still in their original packaging and transparency film and pens to name a few. So, I figured it was time to address our packrat tendencies and jump full force into a closet clean-out. I didn’t really have the time, but knew I needed to make the time in order to have a more functional media space.

How could I get rid of this… “stuff?” Old Magill Survey’s [see image 2 above] with the most recent publication date of 1980 were lining the depths of the closet shelves.

First of all, why were they even in the closet, and second of all, what could I do with them aside from warehousing them for recycling? As I made my way through each shelf and cabinet, I found a treasure trove that would bring joy to even the newest librarian. I found boxes upon boxes of book check-out cards for a system that hadn’t been used since I was in high school. Librarians are archivists by nature, but even this had gotten a little out of hand. How had I not addressed this sooner? I even found a lovely little book stamp carousel which I just had to keep and re-purpose. It now sits on my desk to hold various loose cords.

After seeing the variety of items from the closet, I started to think about how I could re-purpose these items.

Last year we tried to create a Maker Space in our Media Center which we rotated with supplies and instructions, but it was rarely used. So, I thought more about the Maker Space concept and decided that instead of purchasing new items for Maker Spaces, we would re-purpose the old ones. And instead of offering a Maker Space during the school day, one day a month I would hold a “Crafternoon” where students and staff could join me in making a fun project. That would give me a full month to advertise through posters, morning announcements, and school newsletters.

I recently saw a Book Page Pumpkin in a library forum and thought that maybe I could replicate it, which I did. Surprisingly it was fairly easy. I found the craft to be a great way to re-purpose old books and to make them live on in another form. After coming up with my first month’s idea of the Book Page Pumpkin, I sat down and thought about what I could have students and staff create for each month and planned out the entire school year based on our supply inventory and what seemed to relate to each month.
I advertised our first Maker Monday Crafternoon event with our students and staff through email and social media, and our first event brought in a baker’s dozen students and staff. While I was hoping for more attendees, I do have to remind myself that many of our students have after school activities and jobs that prevent them from staying after, so I was happy with our first turn out. I think that with a consistent social media presence and with visibility in our school through posters and announcements, that more students and staff will learn about the Crafternoons and come to our programs. I look forward to seeing the creativity continue with our future programs.

End note:

For our first Crafternoon of 2019, we’re already planning a reading log using recycled scrap paper, repurposed borrower cards, and our book binding machine . If you’d like to stay apprised of our other Crafternoons and events, check us out online and/or give as a follow on Instagram @hahsmedia or my personal Twitter @L4librarian.

We’ve created an instructional video for how to make your own Book Page Pumpkin as well as footage from our event here:

About Our Guest Post Author:

Danielle DuPuis has worked with books and children for the last 19 years and is currently a Media Specialist at Hammond High School where she also teaches Video Production. She is the author of several professional resource books for teachers and librarians including Adventures of Super3 and Big6 Large and in Charge. Coincidentally, she has one super 6-year-old and two large and in charge 3-year-olds (yes, they’re twins). She enjoys reading, writing, and adventuring in National Parks with her children. Most recently, she won $5000 for the IPOEF charity contest in which all of the money was donated to the National Park Foundation. Danielle also teaches graduate classes at McDaniel College for the School Librarianship program.

All photos by Danielle DuPuis


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