In May, I thought it would be fun to welcome the teachers back with a “goody bag” from the library.  I have been wanting to do such a gesture of goodwill since I opened the library, but this is the first summer I’ve actually felt I had time to follow through on the goody bag idea.

In May, I contacted my GALE representative who graciousy arranged for me to recieve a box of pens, assorted bookmarks, a tension-release “squeegie”, and a pad with sticky notes for bookmarking.   In addition, they sent wonderful table placards and posters to help promote my GALE databases.  GALILEO, Georgia’s Virtual Library, sent all kinds of promotional materials, including flyers, pens, and several different kinds of  bookmarks.   I was pleasantly surprised at the quantity of materials I received and am appreciative of the freebies.

For an easy library themed decor to the brown paper bags, I used my Demco book pockets with self-adhesive.  I created tiny due date slips/ flyers using Publisher with a picture of our FriendFeed badge and a link to our wiki page; these flyers were tucked into the book pocket.  Before I stuck the book pocket to the front of the bag, I also attached labels I made using Avery 8160 address labels and the free Avery label wizard that you can download and use with Word.  These labels include our  hours, our wiki address, and “avatar” I made using TypoGenerator.

Some homemade goodies for the bag include a wordle representing today’s 21st century librarian that  I created with friends from my personal learning network on Twitter earlier this year.  I thought this would be a fun and easy way to illustrate the roles of a contemporary librarian to the faculty.  In addition, I created mini-flyers featuring some of the images I created for the Library Secrets campaign earlier this year as well as a mini-flyer I created in Publisher advertising our library bog.  I tried to keep paper items to a minimum in order to be green and to model the conversation of paper and ink.

Last but not least in the goody bag is a sprinkling of Hersey’s milk chocolate kisses!

I created 60 today and still have about 40 to go.  I will probably need to get just  a tad more tomorrow, plus I’m thinking about what I wish I had to go in the bag that isn’t happening right now.

library-goody-bags-july2009 011

In reflecting on the process, here are a few things I will do differently for this endeavor next year:

1.  Start planning earlier—had I done this, I probably could have collected more materials from the vendors to help promote their products I use in my library.

2.  Collect items from your library vendors year-round—I think it is easier to build up a bag full of goodies that can promote some of the services from your vendors if you make small requests throughout the year.

3.  Consider adding something customized for your library—I wish now I had some custom pencils  or notepads with “The Unquiet Library” engraved to help promote the library.

4.  Check and see if local businesses might be willing to donate gift cards or coupons.  I am kicking myself now for not thinking to see if the new Books a Million that is just a few miles from our school would donate something along these lines!

What would YOU add to a teacher goody bag that would help promote your library without breaking your budget?

17 thoughts on “It’s In the Bag: Welcome Back to The Library Goodness!

  1. Wow – what an amazing idea! I don’t think I have time to do this before we start back to school but it is an inspiring idea and something I would love to try going this coming year for the following September! You have some truly wonderful and unique ideas Buffy (you should be called “The Unique Unquiet Librarian”! 🙂


  2. GREAT idea – I might try and do something similar – especially since i now have 2 “extra” days thanks to our Governor and furlough days!!

    I bought pencils last year at oriental Trading – they were fairly cheap and I got them within a few days!

    Glad to have found your blog – I am a GA media specialist too – Gwinnett County!


  3. Maybe Books a Million would be willing to donate coupons for a free “cup of Joe”. Thanks for the inspiration! I’ll be adding this to my goals list.


  4. What a wonderful idea. Very creative and great way to promote your library and get the year off to a great start by reminding teachers of all the resources that you have to support their work.


  5. I do a brochure for our new teachers that is called “What they don’t tell you” It includes those things that the admin doesn’t tell them like cost of a meal and choices in the cafeteria, where all the copiers are, staff restrooms, staff development, etc… I also include photos of all the current teachers from our yearbook to help them get orientated.
    I would like to also do something for all the teachers, but don’t have any money for personalized items, but like the vendor idea and local businesses to help promote locally.
    Great stuff!


  6. Lots of goodies there! Just one suggestion: something that requires a *personal* response/reason to come in to the library: how about a coupon for one unique info search, or personal help session? IOW; something that requires the teachers to come in and talk to you.


  7. Thank you all for the positive feedback and words of affirmation! I also thank you for the terrific suggestions you have shared—you already have me planning for next year’s goody bags!

    Thank you all again for your feedback and input—I appreciate your reading my blog!

    Buffy 🙂


  8. Buffy, YOU are the perfect model of Library Goodness! A million thanks for sharing all your wonderful ideas, practices, and technology expertise.


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