BURRILVILLE – At Jesse Smith Memorial Library, the staff’s talent for art is as noteworthy as their Christmas spirit this year.
The library is holding a holiday decorating contest, with departments competing to see who can create the most festive and impressive desk display. Guests to the facility can submit a ballot to vote for their favorite through Saturday, Dec. 15.
“It’s a great way to bring the departments together and break up the stress of the holidays,” said Assistant Director Lori DeCesare. “They did a great job.”
Staff in the three departments found their inspiration from popular holiday stories, recreating scenes that visitors will recognize.
“They came up with a theme and a plan, and nobody told anyone else what they were doing,” said DeCesare.
At the reference department, reference assistant Danielle Skeldon created interactive scenes from the movie Elf, including an “Elfie Selfie” station with props to use for poses, and a “Naughty/Nice book” where guests can write down their names and what they want for Christmas.
“It’s little snippets from the movie,” noted DeCesare.
“It was fun to make,” Skeldon said.
At circulation, staff made hand-drawn Peanuts character cut-outs, creating a snowy holiday scene from the animated Christmas movie, with a small “Charlie Brown Christmas tree” on top. The massive Christmas village put up each year adds to the festive display.
Guests of all ages can weigh in on which department should win the competition, and the winner will be named on the library’s Facebook page, and in the facility’s January newsletter.
“The instructions were to primarily decorate the front of the desk,” said DeCesare. “It’s a way to get people to interact with the staff and to explore other parts of the library they don’t normally visit, and have fun doing it.”
In the children’s department, staff member Aspen Fisher took the lead in creating a hand-cut, three dimensional figures and scenes from the popular picture book “Snowmen at Night.”
“She’s very talented,” said DeCesare. “It’s truly amazing what they’ve created with just paper. The little kids are so excited to see it.”
Quotes from book are complimented by detailed scenes of snowmen involved in activities like drinking hot chocolate.
“It’s very sensory-based for the kids,” DeCesare noted.
The contest is just a part of the holiday fun at the library in 2018. When you visit, look for “Tinky the Otter” the library’s take on “Elf on a Shelf,” which celebrates the facility’s 10th anniversary. The otter is hidden in a new spot in the library every day and a clue to his whereabouts is posted on the library’s Facebook page each morning.
Children are invited to make an ornament for a tree displayed on the second floor and downstairs, guests can show their giving holiday spirt by taking a tag from the Giving Tree and returning with the item. Donations will benefit the Burrillville Weekend Snack Pack program, which keeps students in town schools fed through the weekends.
The impressive desk decorations are all part of business-as-usual for the dedicated staff.
“We’re blessed with people who are super creative,” DeCesare said.