Submitted by Tracie Antonuk, Adult Services Librarian, Rio Rancho Public Library
On August 8, about 160 library users of all ages traveled back (in time)to ancient Egypt. The attendees learned about foods the Egyptians ate, how they wrote and what they believed. There were crafts to make such as: bookmarks that could be designed with hieroglyphs to spell their names, they could fold a paper pyramid and make a mummy from a clothespin that could be wrapped in gauze, and make a necklace that Tut would envy. Okay that last one might be a slight exaggeration. Our older citizens could make greeting cards, work a crossword puzzle and get a temporary tattoo. Our display case was filled with Egyptian collectibles and we created book displays and bookmarks for all ages. Literary Musings read “anything Egypt” for their August book club discussion.
Our program committee consisted of staff from several departments who created larger than life pillars, pyramids, and canopic jars. Some members of the committee created a promotional video featuring the grandchildren of a coworker for our Facebook page. We also discovered a great resource at the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology at UNM. The museum staff have created wonderful trunks that libraries and schools can borrow for a minimal fee and mileage. (https://maxwellmuseum.unm.edu/education/k-12/check-out-kits) The trunk contained outfits children could wear and we created a photo opportunity with a pyramid backdrop. There were replica artifacts that were put on display. The Nile was taped to the floor to follow along. A docent also came on program night and gave a hour long talk about hieroglyphs, religion and pyramids and how they all fit together. Lastly, the snacks served were as close to ancient Egyptian food as could be substituted: root beer for beer, pita bread and hummus in a cup, fish crackers for fish and dates and cheese. Our Friends of the Library provided funds and we are hoping to travel back to the ancient Maya during summer reading next summer.