Blogger Amy Steinbauer

“Shake It Off” Taylor Swift themed karaoke at the library

Taylor Swift has captivated the hearts and minds of people around the world, and this ALSC blogger! It makes sense that she would find her way into libraries. In celebration of her new album, I threw a Swiftie karaoke program at the library! In the past, the Swift events have been more geared towards teenagers and that has left a lot of younger patrons out of the fun, so I wanted to correct that. I opened it up to all ages, and it was super popular with the under nine year old patrons and teens.

Things you may want to buy/borrow/make:

  1. Karaoke machine: I splurged for a nice one because I plan on having many more karaoke events.
  2. Decorations: I bought some shimmery backdrops, metallic tablecloths, a strobe light, and Taylor themed table top decorations
  3. Flyers: I made a fun flyer in Canva that evoked her Lovers album and asked people to dress up!
  4. Echo mics! Part of the joy of a Swift concert is bursting out with song, and I wanted everyone to participate in that even if they weren’t singing.
  5. Photo area: I found a funny picture backdrop of Taylor and hung on the back wall.

Stations:

While people are waiting to sing, activities are a must! Since this event was open to all ages, I wanted to make sure that different ages and abilities were able to participate.

  1. Friendship bracelets! Luckily, a patron donated what feels like millions of beads from their own Swift experiences, so we have a huge supply. I added some pipe cleaners for the younger ages as that is easier to use than string.
  2. Swiftie themed temporary tattoos and then some spray bottles with water and paper towels.
  3. Coloring pages of our favorite gal and colored pencils.

How it worked:

When people came in, a staff member greeted them and they got to look at our scheduled songs and sign up to sing a song. I picked the songs upfront so I could ensure we would have the lyrics available. Then they could start on the activities while they waited. I set up the room with activities in the back of the room, and a few rows of chairs with an aisle in the middle. I also left room in the front for dancing. One staff member monitored the activities and helped to resupply as needed. Another staff member worked the set up with the karaoke machine, the projector screen, and the tablet that connected the music to the machine. Depending on your services, you may be able to use freegal to play music for this event. That is another great moment to promote library services that your patrons may not know about. You can play lyric videos on YouTube, but you may find that your patrons are screaming the words to all the songs and don’t need the lyrics.

Takeaways:

The program was wildly successful! We had around 80 people come out and the whole room was singing, dancing, and feeling the joy of Taylor! We sang around 15 songs over 2 hours, with a short break for water and to reconnect our device to the Internet. It was so funny and amazing to see so many little kids jumping, stamping their feet, screaming, and feeling so much happiness was a sight to see! Parents were singing in the audience, and the teens were acting as background dancers, and everyone was having fun! I’m already planning another night of Taylor Swift singing.

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