Published on May 25th, 2015 | by Christian T. Moore

The Fourth is Strong with This Library

When it comes to awesome programs, the Roseville Public Library in Northern California takes after Master Yoda’s wise words: Do or do not – there is no try. And they sure did!

Roseville Public Library celebrated the intergalactic Star Wars holiday with an excellent May the Fourth Be with You program. The staff expected a good turnout, but they weren’t aware that attendance would be nearly 500 people!   So what made this event so successful?

Riley-staff-&-cast.As families swarmed into the room of the event, a librarian shared a Star Wars themed storytime that included originally written rhymes and songs. What a day – when we can celebrate early literacy alongside one of the best science fiction stories of all time!

A line full of children, teens, and adults formed around the room and out the door. Kids with Darth Vader masks, Jedi robes, and lightsabers patiently waited to take photos with their favorite Star Wars characters. While waiting in line, some stood near the trivia table to test their knowledge of Ewoks, Hoth, and “Who shot first?” where parents and children alike could partake.

When they reached the front of the line, they were greeted by Darth Vader, Stormtroopers, Imperial Guards, Boba Fett, Princess Leia, and Rebel troops who were ready to pose for pictures sure to create fond memories for the children. These characters are a part of the 501st Legion and Rebel Legion Endor Base – people who volunteer to dress up in high-quality Star Wars costumes that look as if they are straight off the movie set. These organizations are non-profits whose goals are to promote the legacy of the Star Wars Universe as well as to contribute to various charities – a cosplaying, Star Wars-loving, philanthropist’s dream!

After getting their pictures taken, people had the opportunity to make Star Wars bookmarks, create paper Yoda ears or Leia buns, and show their artistic side on coloring pages.

When the event was over, it was difficult to send attendees away. The trivia table, manned by yours truly, ended with a one-on-one trivia battle between me and a young girl. She didn’t need multiple-choice for any of the questions – she simply knew the answers. She subsequently asked me obscure, detailed trivia questions that had me stumped. Needless to say – she was a delight and it was definitely a highlight for me.lisa.storytime.2

Now that Star Wars Day is another year away, how can our libraries prepare for successful events like this?

Know your community

The Roseville Public Library has incorporated Star Wars themed events into its Summer Reading Programs in years past with quite good reception. Both children and “grown-ups” often ask for Star Wars books and DVDs, so it was evident that more Star Wars related events, programs, and materials were needed to satisfy the patrons. What kind of geek culture events would your community enjoy?


What made the event so fun for all ages was the variety of entertainment. Performing re-written rhymes and songs to fit in with the Star Wars Universe was an excellent way to entertain younglings and promote early literacy – one thing in which the Roseville Public Library prides itself. The different stations where families could creatively interact with Star Wars involved all who came to the event and allowed them to leave with something tangible to inspire memories (photos, bookmarks, crafts, and artwork).

Partnering With Great Organizations

Here’s another plug for the 501st Legion and the Rebel Legion who helped make this event such a success. Without their participation, this event would not have been nearly as memorable. Let’s face it – who doesn’t want to a picture with Boba Fett?

If one thing can be learned from this event, it’s that the Roseville community loves Star Wars and chances are that your community does too!

About the Author

Christian is a Library Assistant at the Roseville Public Library located in Northern California. When he isn’t helping customers with technology and circulation or working on his Public Relations degree, he is spending time with his wife and his dog, Padmé. He enjoys comics, film, television, writing, technology, beer, and many other portions of geek culture. You can see some of his other writings on his website where he writes about culture (and pretty much anything else he deems interesting), an upcoming podcast called “Follow This Podcast” where you can hear original serialized stories of varying genres, or his upcoming debut novel. Follow him on Twitter, Google+, and his website to stay up-to-date on these projects.

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