The Costume Collection
Halloween is kind of a big deal in Lisbon. If you’re new to town, you may have noticed the scary decorations that took over Main Street for a few weeks last month. In pre-COVID times, the street was blocked to traffic and citizens in costumes strolled around, playing spooky games set up by volunteers. Businesses set out treats or invited folks in. Library staff and friends dressed up and opened the door to the library so that hundreds of kids could come in for a turn at a game and--of course--candy.
Twenty-some years ago, our library started the costume collection. We had some great costumes that had been used and enjoyed by our own children and were ready to be passed on. The idea of cataloging them and checking them out to kids came to us—but of course, an idea arrives easily. We had to figure out how to barcode them, display them, store them, clean them, repair them, and so on. It took some time to put our idea into action but it has been one of the most successful programs we’ve had, and it fits right in with Halloween Town.
Over the years, people have donated so many costumes that we’ve been able to outfit the kids in our community and even share some with other libraries. Last year when we were still closed due to COVID, we wheeled the costume racks outside and the Friends of the Library gave the costumes out to kids. Everyone loves to see them on display and watch the kids as they pick the right one. Libraries all over the state have special collections of cake pans, puppets, tools and other non-print items they loan to their patrons, but ours is the only one that has costumes.
Now it’s time for us to clean the used costumes and put them away for next year. If you find some gently used costumes at your house that no longer fit your kids and would like to pass them on, please consider donating them to the library—we accept costumes year round!