04 May 2011

the library // liberty and tyranny

national library week was two weeks ago (what do you mean you didn't get the notice? i know i had hearts and rainbows all over my day planner) and to celebrate, we had a drawing. the prize for three lucky readers was the opportunity to star in their very own READ poster (hello, mr. rickman).

we bought the software to create personalized READ posters, so all we have to do is pose the subject against a neutral, solid background and snap a photo or two. the rest is photoshop magic. easy, right?

after being notified, the first winner (a teenager) chose to share her prize with her younger siblings. the group and their mother (to at least two of the kids - i couldn't quite define the family dynamic) arrived clean, seemingly happy, and dressed up for an olan mills photo shoot.

we encourage the subjects to hold their favorite book for the photos. the winner selected a title and we moved to the back workroom to take the picture. after that, things got uncomfortable real quick.

the mom (to the winner): give your sister that book! she doesn't have anything to hold.

sister: i wouldn't read this.

winner: what am i supposed to hold?

the mom (grabbing two old, discarded books off the nearest shelving cart): hold this. and you (to the brother) hold this.

so, we have a teenager clasping a copy of liberty and tyranny: a conservative manifesto and a twelve-year-old clutching fox in socks. right.

as i start snapping pictures, the mother insists on seeing each one after it's taken.

oh, no, the lighting's off on this one. see how far apart their heads are? he's hardly smiling! you'll have to do another.

and then?

she (pointing to the winner) needs to be covered. have him stand in front of her. she's pregnant. fix your dress so the world can't tell!

suddenly, the winner's title seemed totally and ironically appropriate.

smile, everyone!


  1. Wow. Pageant moms exist outside of pageants.

    But what a cool contest! And that's sweet of the teenager to share her photo ... unless Mom made her.

  2. the winner was such a sweet girl and looked mortified by her mother, but the picture turned out really great, actually, so i guess it all worked out?

  3. Oh man! Sometimes the behind the scenes stuff should stay back there! At least the teen & kids/mom frequent the library!