GREENFIELD – The photos are as heartbreaking as they are hilarious, after more than 20 local children’s stuffed animals had a “sleepover” at the Hancock County Public Library.
The second annual Stuffed Animal Sleepover was on Jan. 22, when kids brought their favorite plush friends to the Greenfield Library and tasked them with spending the night for social media photos and a few good laughs.
A dinosaur sneaks into the cash register. The three young adults played video games in the living room. A few pink plushies also entered the director’s office for a few minutes.
And then there was a photo of story time, with Youth Services Librarian Michelle Brown reading a book to the crowd like she used to during preschool story time. A picture of them all lining up to “use the bathroom” follows.
Last photo of the bunch: All things gathered under a blanket.
Brown, who brought the idea to the library last year after seeing it on library programming websites, said it’s all in good fun. She brings ideas for pictures to the library’s marketing team and runs wild for two hours with the loved ones of the library’s youngest patrons.
“I love that they get to see some of the behind-the-scenes aspects of library science that kids don’t get to see,” Brown said. “It feels like an adventure for them.”
Children Hedley, Wyatt and Jude Warner of Greenfield enjoyed photos of their belongings in the library – Hedley, 8, especially loved seeing his rabbit having a tea party with his little brother Beaver. White, 5, said he likes watching the animals check out the books.
“They saw all of them and they absolutely loved it. They thought it was mysterious,” said mom Carly Warner, adding that this is the second year they’ve participated and they might do it in the future. I will also continue.
Marketing duo Ryan Fennell and Bree Washburn said they enjoy the annual tradition, which happens every January.
“I want everyone to see that the library is a place where we all have fun,” Washburn said. “Whether it’s you, your mom, your dad or your grandma — even your stuffed animal. The library is a place for everyone, and this building has something unique for all of us.
Fennell said the photos highlight some of the new attractions, such as a glowing table in the children’s room that helps children get a closer look at marine objects. There’s also a photo of a “under construction” sign on a new exhibit that will be unveiled on February 1. Some of his favorite shots were the animals standing around the library’s boardroom to make it look like they were having a serious discussion, as well as a business meeting in the director’s office.
Washburn said he also enjoyed talking about his stuffed animals while taking pictures for the project. He said that even if people don’t bring animals to the event, they can still enjoy seeing the creatures through social media as everyone can remember their childhood friends.
“The library is always changing, but the neat thing about it is that it stays the same,” Washburn added. “While we’re always trying to grow and innovate, we’re always a place you can come back to and it’s always there for you. Seeing someone else’s stuffed animal online, in all of us. Good for that kid.
To see all photos, visit facebook.com/HancockCountyPublicLibrary; For upcoming events, visit hclibrary.org.