I would like to kick off my first “Two-Year-Talk” post with something delicious and what better than reasons (a.k.a. excuses) to host a bake sale. Bake sales not only raise money for the library and/or community but they also raise library awareness. When I began working at my college, most students did not even know there was a library, or a librarian for that matter, and now “library brownies” are famous on campus (and students know the library exists). Bake sales are a great way to involve student groups, too.
So, without further ado, here are my top 8 Excuses to Host a Library Bake Sale:
1. Banned Book Week (September 22 – 28, 2013)
– Each baked good can have a fun theme. i.e. Chocolate covered pretzel sticks can be coated in sprinkles and become wizard wands for the Harry Potter series. Accompany each tray with a small note card with the book title, cover picture and a synopsis of why the book was banned.
2. National Poetry Month (April) or Poem in Your Pocket Day
– In celebration of Poem in Your Pocket Day, ask your fellow librarians and/or faculty to donate baked goods to hand out to students who bring you a Pocket Poem. I did this at our library; I handed out brownies and small books of poetry to every student who brought in a poem. It was a wild success and I cannot wait to do it again next year!
3. Pi Day (March 14)
– What more of an excuse do you need to sell pies? Miniature pies (and cheesecakes, because cheesecake is more of a pie and less of a cake anyway) can be made in muffin tins and sold individually which avoids much of the mess that accompanies cutting and serving pieces of pie.
4. Edible Book Festival (April 1)
– One of my favorites! This can become a community event. Ask your mayor/local government official, fellow academic & public librarians, your president and vice-presidents/deans, your student president and any local baker to spare a few afternoon hours to judge an Edible Book Contest. Students and faculty can enter their creations to win prizes for any category you deem fit (i.e. Most Literary, Most Creative). Invite the local news and tell the paper. Tickets can be sold to view the entries or a bake sale can accompany the festival.
*Gasp* It’s a Wikipedia site! For a little more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edible_Book_Festival
5. Local author or literary figure’s birthday
– Do you have a book club? If so, have to book club host a bake sale, benefiting the library, in honor of a local author or literary figure. Is this person still alive? Maybe you could invite them. 😉
6. Alternative Spring Break
– If your college participates in “Alternative Spring Break,” you could host a bake sale to raise money for an under-served library. If this library is close to you then spend one day volunteering at the facility.
7. Your state’s birthday and 8. National Community College Appreciation Month (May)
– Want to get student groups/clubs involved? Co-host a bake sale in honor of your state’s birthday or to appreciate your college for a small scholarship to be offered to a student at your institution. Put out a before and after press release stating you will be hosting this bake sale and then publish how much money the bake sale raised for the scholarship.
Now it’s time to start brain-storming! Plan your bake sale about two months in advance: figure out what you and your fellow baking colleagues will contribute, marketing!, marketing!, marketing!, and, most importantly, have fun and sample all of the goods.