Book Spine Poetry

Program Type: Book Display

Audience: Varies

Time Frame: Passive

Space Needed: horizontal book display space – or image display space

Budget Considerations: none (unless printing images of the poems for display)

Description:
Spine poetry is a display that has been floating around Flickr, Pinterest, and Tumblr. It’s very simple: you take the titles of books, as displayed by their spines, and create poems by stacking books so their titles create a small poem, joke, or story. For example three books titled Through the Looking Glass, Bad Cat, and Go Ask Alice become a short story by stacking them to read Bad Cat/ Through the Looking Glass?:/ Go Ask Alice. While this isn’t a steampunk only display it is a way to show the creativity of steampunk titles and the visual aspect of their covers by incorporating them into these spine-poems. It also shows the genre to people who may not normally look at them. These displays can be of the physical books, stacked on top of the shelves, or photographs of the book stack can be displayed on the walls. This would be a fun project for School Librarians who have TAs, or public libraries that have young volunteers. It allows creativity and is a great way to get familiar with your collection.

Example:

  • Infernal Devices by K.W. Jeter
  • What Could Go Wrong? by Willo Davis Roberts
  • War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells
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F/NF Crossover Displays

Program Type: Display

Audience: Teens

Time Frame: Passive

Space Needed: Display board or wall space

Budget Considerations:

  • Paper materials for display
  • Staff time for creation
  • Staff time for book lists/book pulling

Description:

This is a display aimed at bridging the gap between fiction and non-fiction. Many Steampunk books are based on a historical reality, and then they alter and bend that reality to fit the author’s intentions. For many readers (myself included) part of the joy of steampunk is seeing the changes made and what stays true to history. For many teens, though, there may not be as much background understanding of the historical reality to fully appreciate the nuanced changes: this board is aimed at bridging that gap. Additionally, this board can be important for librarians working in communities with Common Core English classes where there is a high expectation for nonfiction reading by teens. By showing the connection between fiction and nonfiction librarians can tap into an expressed interest (steampunk or speculative fiction) and present nonfiction content in that same interest. Depending on the books pulled this can also be used for WWI and Civil War specific books.

Online Resources:

  • Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld paired with The Assassination of the Archduke: Sarajevo 1914 and the Romance that Changed the World by Greg King, Sue Woolmans
  • Boneshaker by Cherie Priest paired with Seattle Underground by William Speidel
  • Wild, Wild West (film) with A Lady’s Experiences in the Wild West in 1883 by Rose Render

Victorian Tea Time

Program Type: Family/Snack Time

Audience: Family, 10+ participants

Time Frame: 1 hour

Space Needed: Open space with tables and chairs

Budget Considerations:

  • Snacks
  • Tea
  • Plates and cups
  • Clean up

Description:

Tea time is a simple idea with lots of ways to modify it to fit your library.

  • Do you offer snack time for school kids? Add a little Victorian flair by talking about etiquette and letting the kids play make-believe. Read a steampunk short story during the snack.
  • Do you have a book club that meets regularly? Host a public meeting (preferably the first meet up) with tea, top hats, and your first discussion of your group’s Steampunk book selection.
  • Is there a convention coming to your town? Offer a pre-convention meet up for the locals to have tea, show off their costumes, and get excited for the event. Use the meet up as a chance to highlight your collection’s books on costume construction, crafting, and DIY jewelry.

Adventure Book Board

Program Type: Display

Audience: All

Time Frame: Passive

Space Needed: Display board or wall space

Budget Considerations:

  • Paper, lettering, and adhesive for display
  • Staff time to create images
  • Staff time to create book lists/Pull books

Description:

Modified from the “Where Would Poe Go?” board at the Enoch Pratt free library (view the image via Fliker here https://www.flickr.com/photos/enochprattlibrary/6195747384/).

This board would highlight nonfiction Victorian and Steampunk adventure books in your collection. Using images of classic landmarks (Big Ben, Eiffle Tower, Pyramids) paired with a question like “Where Will Adventure Take You” or “Where Will You Go?” or using a classic Victorian figure like “Where Would Verne/Tesla/Poe Go?”. This is a chance to draw attention to the visual side of steampunk literature by include the image of a large mechanical dirigible, balloon, or flying machine passing over the landmarks. Depending on your space you can have physical copies of the books underneath the colorful board, or have printed copies of the book covers attached to it.

Online Resources:

  • A Lady’s Experience in the Wild West in 1883 by Rose Pender
  • Fine Young Turks (Galvanic Century #7) by Michael Coorlim
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne (book and film editions)
  • Blameless by Gail Carriger
  • Airborn by Kenneth Oppel
  • The Volcano Lady: Vol. 1 – A Fearful Storm Gathering by T. E. MacArthur
  • Shanghai Steam edited by Renee Bennett

Steampunk Claytraptions, a project developed by Heidi Boyd

Program Type: Art/Crafting

Audience: Teens and Adults, approx 10-15 per session

Time Frame: One hour minimum, two better

Space Needed: Table space for materials and participants

Budget Considerations:

  • Space – does your library have a space with enough tables and chairs?
  • Clay- will you ask people to bring their own or provide clay?
  • Mechanical Pieces – these can be hinges and screws from a hardware store, gears and wire from old clocks, but your best bet would be jewelry and scrapbook pieces from JoAnn’s, Oriental Trading Company, or local craft stores. A small fee could also be charged to cover costs.
  • Instructor – Do you feel confident leading the time?

Other options for instructors include recruiting a teen leader who may need volunteer service hours and education/library students who need credit for volunteer service or better yet who may need experience planning and running hands on workshops.

 

Description:

This program is all about creativity! Using craft clay and mechanical odds and ends participants create their own original pieces of art. From clay birds with hinge wings to watches turned into Steampunk bracelets, a mixture of red, orange, gold, and brown clay with gears, wire, screws, and brass tacks make for truly steampunk inspired designs. By providing a variety of components users can build based on their own comfort level. Completed projects could include:

  • Original clay pieces with incorporated mechanical pieces
  • Watches/Necklaces/Bracelets modified with clay and gears
  • Picture frames with clay and wire steampunk motif edging
  • Fridge magnets refaced with clay and decorated with spiral wire.

This program is safe for teens and adults, and possibly for children with 1-to-1 adult supervision, since the choking hazard of the small parts is a serious consideration. The project requires no previous knowledge and allows users to walk away with a completed piece of art. I would suggest hosting this project before holidays like Mother’s Day/ Father’s Day/ Grandparent’s Day to allow users to create custom gifts at low to no cost.

 

Online Resources:

Find example pictures from the original blog posting by Heidi Boyd here – http://heidiboyd.blogspot.ca/2011/05/steampunk-claytraptions.html