On Friday, Dec. 6, Librarian Christie Sylvester came prepared with supplies for the crafting of 100 mini lightsabers by students in the KLC, reserving about 35 per lunch period. Sylvester had been raising attention to this crafting opportunity with commercials on the announcements in the days prior, and she was “thrilled” with how many students participated.
“Within 20 minutes of each period, we ran out of supplies, and I thought, ‘Holy cow, we need to do this again,’” Sylvester said.
Sylvester assumes that the excitement from students surrounding this craft comes from the fact that most of their parents grew up with “Star Wars” and from the new movie, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” that’s coming out on Dec. 20.
“I think there is a [“Star Wars”] fandom out there, and it is appealing to all students,” Sylvester said.
For the second mini lightsaber crafting day five days later on Wednesday, Dec. 11, Sylvester wanted to ensure that everyone who wanted one got a chance to make one — she ordered enough supplies for 600.
Taking only about five to 10 minutes to complete, each mini lightsaber is crafted using a colored LED light, colored straw, silicone bumpers, hot glue and electrical tape. Sylvester was excited about the variety of colors that could come from different color combinations of the lights and the straws; she made a chart with different combinations so students could pick what they wanted their lightsaber to look like. For instructions on how to make your own at home, go to https://play-trains.com/diy-mini-lightsabers-kids-craft/.
The lightsaber craft was part of Prospect’s partnership with the Mount Prospect Public Library, specifically with teen services librarian Andrea Johnson.
“[Johnson has] been working with me to collaborate on fun events at Prospect and bring more notice to the Mount Prospect Public Library,” Sylvester said.
The first project was on Oct. 30, when there was an opportunity to craft bristlebots (https://www.instructables.com/id/Bristlebot-1/). Sylvester estimates that about 30 students came in during their lunch period to make one on that day.
When Johnson contacted Sylvester saying that she wanted to do another collaboration before the end of the semester, Sylvester knew that she wanted to pursue a “Star Wars” theme. She executed this through posters on the KLC doors, information in the display case and various decorations hanging from the ceiling.
As for second semester, Sylvester and Johnson have begun discussing ideas for both Valentine’s Day and spring-themed crafts.
“[The crafts are] one way for people to realize that the library isn’t just for studying … it’s a great community outreach to show the partnerships between our school and the public library,” Sylvester said.