Dewey the Library Elf

Things slow down a bit at our library in December.  We still get lots of people in the doors, but regular storytimes take a break for several weeks (we do have one week of holiday storytimes).  So, this time of the year we are on the lookout for 'passive programs.'  That is, a program where we get it set up and then patrons come in and do the program with little assistance from us.  Often times we will have a craft where we put the supplies and a print out of instructions on some tables. 

One of our most popular 'passive programs' have been scavenger hunts.  Typically we have a sing at the desk that acts as a starting point and it directs the kids around the library from there.  Sometimes they get a word at each stop that forms a sentence and if they tell it to us they win a prize.  I have done them less structured and just put things out for the kids to find.  For one popular hunt over the summer I printed of pictures of the Stay Puff Marshmallow man (we were having a Super Hero week and he made for a silly villain).  Each Stay Puff man had a picture of a fiction book and the kids had to write the title.  The goal was to find 8 Stay Puff men, but when the kids discovered that I had hidden 16 of them they went back to find them all.
So, on that note, we welcomed an 'Elf on the Shelf' to the library this December.  Each day we hide him somewhere new and the patrons go and find him.  They come tell us where he is and are rewarded with a small candy cane, temporary tattoo, Dum Dum sucker, a few stickers, or a glow necklace that we have left over from Summer Reading.   He has been a big hit.
I named our Elf Dewey (for obvious reasons) but now kind of wish I had named him Dobby.  Kreacher would be fun too, but our elf is a little too happy looking to be a Kreacher.  (My elf at home is named Figwit - bonus points if you know where I got that name!)
I did not buy one of the elf on the shelf dolls that are super popular right now.  I did not want a spy elf, he is just for fun.  My co-worker found him at a local craft store for under $10.  I wrote a story about him explaining how Dewey gets time off in December to travel and so he finds somewhere to spread Holiday Cheer.  I tell the kids he is nocturnal and is a very deep sleeper (even if he looks like he is awake).  I also tell them that he grew up with other elves and does not understand that some of his pranks can be naughty.  They are supposed to correct him if they see him being naughty.
Really simple program that I am hoping has people making an extra stop or two to find the elf.  Passive programs are great for that.  They are also nice when you do not have a lot of staff to spare for a program but want to have something during school breaks.

We are hoping Dewey will become a tradition here.  Something fun to do even if there are no storytimes.