Every once in a while, a library comes along and really inspires the community with a new program or event. Most recently the Denver Public Library hosted an event of epic proportion-they created a giant cardboard maze, with a Harry Potter theme. The maze (which measured 75′ long, 15′ wide, and 6′ tall) was constructed in the middle of the main hall of Denver Public Library’s Central Library. It took the library about ten hours andfive peopleto put the maze together with prepped cardboard box materials. Check out the step-by-step Maze Construction Instructions.
Patrons queued up out the door to wait for their turn to traverse the maze. The library also hid the four Hogwarts house crests inside the maze. Kids were given maze passports, and when a crest was found, their passport was stamped by a staff member dressed as a character from the book series. This allowed the library to have staff in the maze in case of emergency.
Other party festivities included Pin the Sock on Dobby, magic wand decorating, and Harry Potter-themed snacks. Many patrons, old and young, came dressed as their favorite Harry Potter character. After the party, the maze was left up for an additional week so that patrons who could not make it to the party could also enjoy it. Denver Public Library has three levels, so not only could you walk through the maze on the first floor, but you could also get an a-maze-ing aerial view from the second and third floor.
Many libraries around the world have events scheduled all the time in order to engage with their constituents. Often, it seems these are aimed at children; such as, arts and crafts, Lego parties, costume parties, etc, and although Harry Potter is Young Adult by classification, I believe this maze, and even the theme, entices patrons of all ages, which may be one of the things that make it so exceptional and so great. It may be complicated to plan an event that appeals to patrons en masse, but in doing so, it can actually help foster a greater sense of community. I’d love to hear about your amazing library program — please share details in the comments!