When I reached the venue at 12pm, my librarian colleagues Huey Bin, Raneetha and Roy had already finished most of the preparations (btw, hat-tip to Roy; he was on leave today but spent his morning helping out). Some of the books were unpacked and placed on the table (back row of the photo on the left).
My first impression was that the tables had flowered overnight. The book covers were like flowers that bloomed upon rows of blue satin.
Yesterday, I mentioned how the height of the banner was a concern. On my way to the venue, it occurred to me that I could secure the "weak-spot" with cable-ties. I bought a bunch, found a simple way to secure the horizontal pole more firmly. This gave me some peace of mind that the chances of the banner falling and accidentally hurting someone was eliminated, or at least much reduced.
My next task was to improvise the "Build Our (NLB) Garden" idea. I was told we had to vacate the premises by 1pm (there was a bomb-sweep scheduled). That meant less than an hour to come up with something that was still rather hazy in my head. In the end, I completed something that my colleagues considered acceptable (even had time to take snapshots in between). I took about 45 minutes to turn these:
I thought it was too amateurish but Raneetha assured me it was more "Child-Friendly" that way and kids were more likely to have fun with it. She's the Children's Librarian so who was I to argue? Oh, right after the rush-job, we were then told the bomb-sweep was canceled! I decided not to re-do the piece. Details of how it was done posted at MyRightBrain (in spite of the time limit, I decided not to pass up the chance of capturing that "creative learning" moment).
With more time on our hands, Huey Bin, Raneetha and I (Roy had left for home by then) decided to stay on and tidy up the booth and test the equipment. It was a good thing we had the extra time as Huey Bin discovered the LAN connection was not working. The technician was called in and they rectified the fault (something about a broken wire, which might have occurred during the shifting and unpacking in the morning). After that was resolved, our trip to the Carrefour hypermart to purchase drinking water (for the volunteers who would be helping out the next few days) was a minor saga in itself, but that's a story between my colleagues and myself :)
After two days of on-site setup, we're ready for business tomorrow. Here's a Before and After picture:
While this outreach assignment wasn't the run-of-the-mill event, it also wasn't a particularly tough one. That being said, I have to give credit to Huey Bin and Raneetha who did most of the legwork in the days leading to the event.
Another "behind-the-scene" work that was done were these Gardening/ Botany-related questions, published at the ASK! blog (thanks to another colleague, Li Sa, for editing and posting the entries). We thought it would be good to have those questions posted. Where appropriate, the librarians on duty at the booth would refer customers to the online resource:
- The Public Library & The Singapore Garden Festival
- What are the common plant diseases?
- What are the common plant pests?
- What is the procedure for planting seedlings?
- How to grow an aquarium plant?
One of the perks of being involved in this event was that with our exhibitor's setup pass, we had access to the displays before the crowd. Here are some shots of what visitors to the SGF will see (click on thumbnails to see larger pics):
OK, if you are at the Singapore Garden Festival, drop by the NLB booth. We're at Level 4. I hope that after touring the exhibits, the visitors interest on Gardening and Botany subjects would be increased and dropping by our booth would encourage them to borrow the related books we've brought, and ask question where the librarians on duty would attempt to assist.
We also have have tokens and prizes to give away for those who borrow books and/ or ask questions. Yes, we want to reward you for giving us more work! We want more work :)
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