While it's no secret that tomorrow is Halloween, some of us like to go incognito, masquerade, or don costumes a little more often than once a year. So recently, a couple of us have instituted Theme Days. Think back to your high school or college years, and those dreaded Spirit Weeks—if you did not have Spirit Week, be very grateful, and let your curiosity end right there!—when everyone in your homeroom or class or clique had to wear something in the same theme, like "Sock Hop". Likewise, think of the Corporate America tradition of Hawaiian Shirt Friday.
So yes, there is a precedent. No one said we'd win innovation awards for Theme Day.
At first, we set up a couple of ground rules for Theme Day. One: we had to use items that we already had. Two: we had to look mostly professional and not let the costuming interfere with our duties. Well, #1 has already been transfenestrated, but #2 is only suspended when we have a good laugh with our patrons about our outfits. Although I have to say, navigating the stacks with a massive sombrero is more difficult than I expected. (I still found the items the patron was looking for, despite the hat bumping into the shelves.)
What we quickly discovered is that patrons and staff alike enjoy our Theme Days. Whether we're wearing blinking Halloween-themed head-thingies from Marcy Street Card Shop a few weeks early, cowgirl shirts and hats, or, our favorite so far, sombreros, it brightens the day for a few hours, gets people chatting and laughing (quietly, of course), and provides the unexpected in your monotonous or over-scheduled day.
So the next time you see some librarians with odd headwear or matching outfits, feel free to ask them what it's about. Hopefully you'll get a chuckle along with your weekly trip to the library.
Photo by RG @Main