Anyways, I came into work this morning to find an email asking for volunteers to man the stall at Freshers' Fair (except the email didn't have the apostrophe). I've been on the committee for FF for the past three or four years and last year the main co-ordinator decided she didn't want to do it anymore. I made it very clear at the time (and at interim points throughout this year) that I'd be more than willing to step up and organise it. So of course I didn't even get asked...
but the point is, the first year we ran the stall we had a concise theme. "See what the library can do for you." We extrapolated that and had lollipops everywhere and we all had t-shirts with a lollipop on it and the text "Suck it and see...." It was slightly embarrassing but it was fun - and it was library appropriate.
Second year into it, they wanted a new theme. So engelsteorra and I came up with the idea of basing it around the show Lost which was just about to start in the UK and we knew ('cause we'd been watching it online...) that there would be a lot of buzz. The theme was going to be along the lines of recognising the fact that the library is huge (13 floors) and the campus is sprawling - it's easy to get *LOST* so we (library staff) are there to help. Decent idea, right? No one else had heard of the show so they decided wouldn't it be a good idea to take the island/jungle theme and have a parody of "I'm a Z-lister, get me out of here". Uh... and that relates to the library how exactly?
Next year, the enthusiasm for having a stall at the FF was dwindling amongst the marketing committee and the budget was slashed. So... they used the same props (and I'm talking inflatable snakes and parrots and the like here) and went with a survival theme. Not *too* bad I guess, but still very little to do with the library. I tried to salvage it by coming up with 'survival packs' which would have notepad paper, pens, keyrings, a made up letter home, tea bag, cup-a-soup and library info. All the things a new student would need to get through the first day at uni. Except I was on leave the day before the FF started (think I was at a convention actually!) and no one made up the packs beforehand. So we were randomly trying to pack them as people were asking us questions, and we ended up just handing them packets of cup-a-soup. Frame of reference out the window....
So this year, I had plans. I had ideas. I'm still not sharing in case I manage to bring the others around to my plans and ideas. My plans and ideas will hopefully not cost much (beyond some expenditure on confectionary which we would no doubt be doing anyway).
So here's the email exchange I just had with the apparent new organiser:
Annette: Are you still available to help out with the other tasks such as - survival bags/leaflets and organising of the stall on the day ... as well as maybe a slot or two on the stall.
Sho (noticing there's no question mark there but choosing not to correct it): Absolutely! Do we have a theme for this year yet?
Annette: Same one I am afraid ... money restrictions!! I am going to look out the material later on this week see what needs renewed, if anything. Do we still have the badges/ posters etc.? I take it you still have the postcard templates too?
Sho (starting to fume a little, the posters she's talking about suck out loud): Hmmm. I actually have a couple of ideas that would relate more to the library theme but wouldn't actually cost any money. (We could 'set dress' using library stock for example). Moira or Wendy will have the posters, and I do indeed have the templates.
Annette: We can discuss it at the first meeting - we are at the moment trying to get more volunteers - we seem to be depleting fast .... If it costs nothing then we will certainly consider it. Ok - will get posters from them - thought the survival bags worked a treat so we will certainly be using them again.
Sho*: cool - look forward to the meeting then!
*internally Sho is thinking anything but cool. Doesn't she see that the reason we're losing volunteers is because it's currently pointless? Having the same theme (or lack of theme) for three years running is such bad marketing practice for something like this. Staff are bored with it, it has no relevance to what we do, students don't care about the inflatable palm tree - they just want the freebies. And some of them want to ask us questions which we don't have time to answer because we're too busy trying to make sure the damn inflatable alligator doesn't fall on anyone's head and kill them.
I'm actually not as ranty as this seems by the way. Whole new me means that I'm not going to be a pushover this year. My idea(s) are sound, they are library-relevant, and more importantly - they are fun! And there's a huge raft of students who will appreciate them.
Okay, I have my laptop with me and had been planning to make icons before I started at nine, but hey I ended up talking about the freshers' fair which no one but me and maybe a couple of others actually care about... *g*
aditu_az, those two personal icons you want - do you have an idea of the timestamp in the source? I know one of them is at the end, but the first one I don't remember where that was (just to save me a little time at lunch today).
Right, it's actually after nine now, I suppose I should
(the migraine came to nothing by the way - I drank gallons of water and ate to get my blood sugar sorted again, it helped a whole lot)
ETA randomly (since I haven't seen her in person for months), I just bumped into Annette, the new FF organiser. I was talking to her but not giving her my plans yet, seems like *a* committee somewhere has already met and decided to go with the old theme. Including buying bananas. Seriously, M&Ms will be cheaper in the long run...