Friday Fun Link – A Conceptual Costume for Halloween (Oct 31, 2008)

For the past couple weeks, I was planning to go to work as a hockey player for Halloween.  Then, after I got home from hockey last night (two of our six goals thank-you very much.  Of course the other team got 20 goals so not so impressive from a team point of view), I lay in bed thinking “that's a pretty generic idea – why can't I think of something unique and preferably connected to my job?” 

One thought led to another and around 2am, I came up with the idea of taking a plain white t-shirt, a bunch of coloured markers and going as a “Human Flip Chart”. 

Why that for a costume?  Well, over the past couple months, I've been introduced to all RPL staff via a series of “Dealing With Change” workshops that I sat in on (yes, all 10 of them!)  One of the main exercises at the workshops was a visioning exercise where people were placed in groups and had to either come up with some ideas about “Where RPL Is Now” or “Where RPL Will Be In The Future”. 

So I thought it might be fun to do a take-off on that but instead of asking a “work” question, I'd ask people to write either their favourite book or author on the “human flip chart”.  I wasn't sure if the idea would work but it turned out to be quite a hit – I had one person come by my office just to make sure they got to record their favourite book, another person said it was such a good idea she was going to steal it for a Halloween party she was going to later tonight and one co-worker wrote down a few of the titles she hadn't heard of, assuming that if somebody claimed it as their favourite, it was probably worth checking out.  (Talk about a unique form of reader's advisory!) 

And what were the books/authors chosen as favourites by random staff I encountered at RPL's Central Branch throughout the day?

The Godfather by Mario Puzo
Oscar Wilde
The Little Engine That Could – Watty Piper
James Patterson
Green Eggs and Ham
Fall on Your Knees by Anne Marie MacDonald
Lord of the Rings by Tolkien
Bel Canto – Ann Practchett
A Wrinkle in Time
Stone Age to Golden Age – Mr. Gordon Meek
Outlanders – D. Gabaldon
Sex and the City (this person freely admitted they didn't know if the TV/Movie had a related book but just wanted to write the word “sex” on me somewhere)
Stranger in a Strange Land
Emma by Jane Austen
Speechless – Rosemary Crossley
Captain Underpants
The Secret
Paddy Clark Ha Ha – Roddy Doyle
Gail Bowen
Night – Elie Wiesel
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
The Stud (not sure if this was a book or a message!)
The Power of One – Bryce Courtney
Julie Garwood
The Tower Treasure – FW Dixon
Black Cat – Poe
Charlotte's Web
Catch A Fire
Charlotte's Web (it, along with “Gone With the Wind” were the only two chosen twice I think)
Cloister Walk – Kathleen Norris
Joan Johnston
Grapes of Wrath – Steinbeck
Lillian Harry – British War Fiction

(I may have missed some – it's remarkably hard to read a shirt with writing all over it in a logical manner!) 

…and here's what it looked like at the end of the day:

 

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