Calling all literary peeps
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Spring is right around the corner, bringing the arrival of Peeps to store shelves near you. Peeps are the sticky, yellow, marshmallow chicks that Jennie Lay points out cannot possibly be for eating. So Lay, who is the adult program coordinator at Bud Werner Memorial Library, and her colleagues came up with another idea for them — a Peeps diorama competition.
The idea is based off of the Washington Post’s classic contest each year — also with Peeps — and participants are encouraged to envision a literary scene or a book, then turn it into a diorama using the Peeps and other materials.
Jamie Collins, who is the youth services librarian, said she has seen this done at other libraries before and had the idea to bring the competition to Steamboat.
“It’s really all about having fun with a literacy twist,” Collins said. “Usually programming, for me as youth services librarian, is all about getting kids in the library to get books in their hands and easy access to literacy so you offer crafts, games and food to encourage attendance. But now we want to encourage this same fun and creativity at home.”
The Peeps aren’t just for the kids though. Adults are encouraged to participate too, with prizes in three categories: children 0-12, teens 13-17 and adults 18 and older. First- and second-place winners in the kids and teens divisions will be awarded Chamber bucks, and a grand prize winner in the adult category will receive the same.
The library is offering up Peeps starter packs — there are currently about four dozen available — that participants can pick up at the children’s desk to start their dioramas. All dioramas must be in a shoe box or a box of a similar size. Participants need to take photos of their finished product and email them to email@example.com as well as drop the diorama off at the library in person. Submissions are due by 5 p.m. Saturday, March 27.
The dioramas will be on display at the library from March 29 through April 2, and community members are encouraged to view them and vote for the winner of the “Peep-les Choice Award.”
There is an online option as well, where submissions can be viewed and voted on by visiting the library’s website. Winners will be announced April 4.
“A major goal is to foster a love of lifelong reading, so introducing new ways to enjoy books creatively can help spur those lasting positive bonds with both books and libraries,” Collins said.
The library employees have had to get creative with their programming in the past year, but Lay points out they might never have put this contest on had it not been for COVID-19.
“Typically, winter is a really busy time at the library, so this fun contest might not have been possible in a normal year. We have to seize the opportunities in front of us,” she said.
To see complete contest rules, visit steamboatlibrary.org.
Sophie Dingle is a contributing writer for the Steamboat Pilot & Today. She can be reached through the editor.
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