Teen Librarian Toolbox
Inside Teen Librarian Toolbox

Doctor Who Library Programs, a guest post by Julia Hutchins

Made by Karen

My mother loves Doctor Who. Not just new, fancy special effects Doctor Who. She also loves original, black and white Doctor Who. How obsessed is my mother with the show? Not only is she the former president of a Doctor Who fan club, but the inside of her garage has been painted to look like the inside of the Doctor’s TARDIS (leftover from a fan video made back in the 90s). I realize that there are few people who have had this long running show as ingrained into their lives as I have; but whether you are new to Who, a classic Whovian who knows the difference between 4 and 6, or even just someone who thinks 10 is the cutest, you can easily add some Doctor Who to your library programs.
If you are new to Doctor Who, it can be overwhelming figuring out where to start. With 50 years’ worth of episodes to choose from, where do you begin? The most obvious episode is Rose, the first episode of “New Who”. However, there are many other great stories to choose from. I held a poll amongst the teens at my library to determine their favorite episodes. The winners were wonderfully varied. The top choice was Blink. This episode is great for teens because it stands alone (you don’t have to be a fan of the series to enjoy it). Also, Blink is somewhat scary, which the teens enjoy. This episode introduced popular The Weeping Angels, one of the most popular (and terrifying) villians in the Whoniverse. Another popular episode for the teens is Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, which features Mark Williams (Arthur Weasley from the Harry Potter films). Other episodes that the teens recommended were The Christmas Invasion, Girl in the Fireplace, and The Unquiet Dead.

Besides favorite fun episodes, Doctor Who can also serve to tie in with what teens are studying for school. Learning about World War II? The Empty Child  and The Doctor Dances (a two-part story) have the Doctor visiting England during the Blitz. Reading Shakespeare? Check out the tenth doctor story The Shakespeare Code.  Many other historical figures have been portrayed on Doctor Who including Hitler, Madame du Pompadour, Winston Churchill, and Marco Polo. The BBC even has a list on the Doctor Who blog. If you have the licensing to show Doctor Who in your library, any of these episodes would be a great place to start to introduce patrons (or yourself) to the show.

And here, here and here are some program pics
There are many episodes that tie-in with craft programs as well. The episode Partners in Crime featuring David Tennant as the Doctor includes an alien species called “Adipose” that teens (or even children) can easily replicate with marshmallows and edible markers. Plus, edible crafts are always popular with teens, since they can eat their creation when they are done. Directions are easily found online for the adipose, as well as sonic screwdriver crafts, tardis snowflakes, and even Dalek paper crafts.
One of the wonderful things that make Doctor Who programs simple to do is that Doctor Who’s travels take him throughout time and space, so it is easy to tie-in most space, travel, or historic crafts with the show. Want to make togas? Watch The Fires of Pompeii or go with the classic Black-and-White episode, The Romans. If your teens are interested in painting, the Doctor meets Vincent Van Gogh in the tenth doctor episode Vincent and the Doctor. A popular craft for the eleventh Doctor is duct tape bow ties. Our teens loved their bow ties so much that many of the guys wore them to their prom this year. As the Doctor says, bow ties are cool. 
Our most popular craft at the library were our life-size Daleks. These were loaned to us from a local Doctor Who fan club, the Guardians or Gallifrey. The life-size Daleks are homemade, and came to us needing makeovers. Our teens collected drink lids, which were then painted to be used as the domes on the bottom of the Daleks. The main body of the Daleks is made of cardboard and plywood, which roll on casters from a local hardware store. Other items that went into making the Daleks include a paint roller, pantyhose, and a metal mixing bowl. The Daleks proved a great group project, and the teens loved taking turns climbing inside of them and rolling around the library.
The Guardians of Gallifrey, the Central Florida Doctor Who fan club, also was a prominent feature in our annual “Sci-Fi Day” at the library. Other clubs invited to Sci-Fi Day included Starfleet’s USS Haven, the 501st Legion, and OASFiS (the Orlando Area Science Fiction Society). The clubs in attendance each got tables to promote their group. The groups provided impressive props that the library was able to use for a “Sci-Fi photo booth for patrons. We also had face painting and a costume contest. We gave away door prizes that were donated by a local comic book store, including Doctor Who comics. Children and teens made a variety of Sci-Fi crafts including pool noodle light sabers and duct tape bow ties. The event lasted most of the day and had over 300 attendees. It was enjoyed by young and old. Pictures of the event can be found on The Leesburg Public Library’s Facebook page.
Doctor Who programs can be fun and affordable for libraries. The show appeals to both boys and girls. Crafts, trivia, and costume contests have proven successful at past events for both young and old. Have fun with the programs. In the words of the Doctor “Do what I do. Hold tight and pretend it’s a plan!” (The Doctor, season 7 Christmas special)
About Julia “Sandy” Hutchins
Julia “Sandy” Hutchins is the Young Adult Librarian at the Leesburg Public Library in Leesburg, Florida. She is currently in graduate school at Florida State University. Sandy has a BFA in Technical Theatre from the University of South Florida. Prior to working in the library, Sandy toured the world as a lighting technician for Disney on Ice. Since becoming Teen Librarian, Sandy has hosted many successful teen events such as Zombie Prom, DIY Steampunk Goggles, and the Leesburg Hunger Games. Sandy hosts a monthly tv show on Lakefront TV to promote the library.

Speak Your Mind