Information for Libraries

Bring a little magic to our public parks and green spaces!

One objective of the Mohawk Valley Library System’s Fairies & Gnomes Summer Learning Project is to bring a little magic to our communities! 


In addition to the creation of natural, found-object fairy/gnome homes at participants’ residences and on library lawns, we are hoping to expand our miniature, hands-on projects to local municipal parks and public green spaces — wherever fairies and gnomes might be found!


Toward that end, we encourage participating libraries to reach out to their local municipalities to secure permission for the creation and temporary park-siting of these whimsical architectural designs by participating children and their families. 


When contacting the municipality, library personnel should be prepared to briefly describe the activity and to identify the population that will be participating in the program. The officials may want assurances that mask-wearing and social distancing will be observed, and they will likely want to know who should be contacted if there are any problems or damage. They may also want to know if/when projects will be removed and by whom.


Potential questions to ask include the following: Are there any areas that are off-limits to fairy and gnome house construction? Is it OK to post the laminated signage near the fairy/gnome houses? (Please see the signs that Kaitlin has made with Jen’s illustrations.) Are there any rules regulating the use of the park, in general? This information should be communicated to all participants.


Is it necessary to secure written permission for this activity? That depends on the library and the municipality. Since this is an open-ended activity for children and their parents and is not a library-coordinated event, written permission may not be required. Please use your best judgment. At the very least, document the name of the official with whom you consult, the date of any communication, and any other pertinent information.


Finally, please let us know which parks and green spaces in your community will potentially house fairy and gnome constructions so that we can include that information on the map on our website!

Library Programming Ideas

  • Virtual‌ ‌Storytime‌ ‌‌anyone?‌ ‌Gnome‌ ‌storytime‌ ‌to‌ ‌adapt‌ ‌from‌ ‌Leah‌ ‌of‌ ‌‌ ‌ ‌

  • Kansas‌ ‌City‌ ‌saw‌ ‌a‌ ‌‌Great‌ ‌Gnome‌ ‌Escape‌‌ ‌in‌ ‌2019,‌ ‌adapt‌ ‌some‌ ‌of‌ ‌their‌ ‌ideas‌ ‌for‌ ‌a‌ ‌safe‌ ‌distancing‌ ‌Great‌ ‌Gnome‌ ‌Escape.‌ ‌For‌ ‌example,‌ ‌ask‌ ‌local‌ ‌businesses‌ ‌to‌ ‌hide‌ ‌pictures‌ ‌of‌ ‌gnomes‌ ‌in‌ ‌their‌ ‌store‌ ‌windows,‌ ‌and‌ ‌have‌ ‌families‌ ‌take‌ ‌pictures.‌


  • Create‌ ‌a‌ ‌‌Fairy‌ ‌and‌ ‌Gnome:‌ ‌Imagine‌ ‌Their‌ ‌Homes‌ ‌STORYWALK. ‌Best‌ ‌practices‌ ‌for‌ ‌a‌ ‌DIY‌ ‌ Library‌ ‌Story walk‌ ‌here.‌ ‌Look‌ ‌through‌ ‌the‌ ‌picture‌ ‌books‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌Booklist‌ ‌(link)‌ ‌here‌ ‌and‌ ‌purchase‌ ‌at‌ ‌least‌ ‌2‌ ‌copies‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌ title‌ ‌to‌ ‌DIY.‌ ‌(Note:‌ ‌Board‌ ‌book‌ ‌stories‌ ‌not‌ ‌recommended,‌ ‌too‌ ‌thick!)‌ ‌


  • Hold‌ ‌a‌ ‌‌Library‌ ‌Clothesline‌ ‌Children’s‌ ‌or‌ ‌Teen‌ ‌Art‌ ‌Show‌,‌ ‌featuring‌ ‌fairies‌ ‌and‌ ‌gnomes.‌ ‌Here’s‌ ‌ some‌ ‌basic‌ ‌instructions‌ ‌to‌ ‌get‌ ‌started.‌ ‌Just‌ ‌make‌ ‌sure‌ ‌you‌ ‌design‌ ‌your‌ ‌Clothesline‌ ‌Art‌ ‌Show‌ ‌around‌ ‌safety‌ ‌and‌ ‌social‌ ‌distancing‌ ‌principles.‌ ‌ ‌


  • Chalk‌ ‌Drawing!‌ ‌‌Offer‌ ‌chalk‌ ‌to‌ ‌kids‌ ‌in‌ ‌small‌ ‌plastic‌ ‌bags‌ ‌to‌ ‌use‌ ‌(and‌ ‌keep,‌ ‌not‌ ‌share)‌ ‌to‌ ‌draw‌ ‌on‌ ‌suitable‌ ‌surfaces,‌ ‌both‌ ‌horizontal‌ ‌and‌ ‌vertical!‌ ‌Have‌ ‌kids‌ ‌design‌ ‌and‌ ‌draw‌ ‌fairy‌ ‌and‌ ‌gnome‌ ‌doors‌ ‌on‌ ‌library‌ ‌exteriors‌ ‌(check‌ ‌with‌ ‌administration‌ ‌first!),‌ ‌decorate‌ ‌sidewalks‌ ‌with‌ ‌fairy‌ ‌and‌ ‌gnome‌ ‌sightings,‌ ‌if‌ ‌enough‌ ‌space‌ ‌(or‌ ‌ask‌ ‌the‌ ‌local‌ ‌town‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌use‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌outside‌ ‌basketball‌ ‌ court‌ ‌or‌ ‌other‌ ‌large‌ ‌blacktop‌ ‌area)‌ ‌create‌ ‌an‌ ‌obstacle‌ ‌course‌ ‌using‌ ‌chalk‌ ‌drawings‌ ‌and‌ ‌instructions,‌ ‌then‌ ‌add‌ ‌tiny‌ ‌fairy‌ ‌and‌ ‌gnome‌ ‌footprints‌ ‌to‌ ‌lead‌ ‌the‌ ‌way.‌ ‌


  • Fairy‌ ‌or‌ ‌Gnome‌ ‌Mailbox‌ ‌‌--‌ ‌Encourage‌ ‌letter‌ ‌writing‌ ‌by‌ ‌giving‌ ‌kids‌ ‌pre‌-cut‌ ‌small‌ ‌stationary‌ ‌paper‌ ‌in‌ ‌a‌ ‌plastic‌ ‌bag‌ ‌for‌ ‌a‌ ‌“take‌ ‌and‌ ‌make”‌ ‌activity,‌ ‌let‌ ‌them‌ ‌decorate‌ ‌and‌ ‌write‌ ‌letters‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌fairies‌ ‌and‌ ‌the‌ ‌gnomes‌ ‌at‌ ‌the‌ ‌library.‌ ‌Create‌ ‌a‌ ‌small‌ ‌Fairy‌ ‌or‌ ‌Gnome‌ ‌Mailbox‌ ‌from‌ ‌a‌ ‌decorated‌ ‌milk‌ ‌box‌ ‌with‌ ‌an‌ ‌opening‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌letters.‌ ‌Ask‌ ‌some‌ ‌teens‌ ‌to‌ ‌decorate,‌ ‌remove‌ ‌daily,‌ ‌quarantine‌ ‌for‌ ‌3‌ ‌days,‌ ‌and‌ ‌create‌ ‌a‌ ‌board‌ ‌with‌ ‌tiny‌ ‌messages‌ ‌back.‌ ‌An‌ ‌envelope‌ ‌template‌ ‌is‌ ‌here.


  • If you want different felt gnomes, Storytime Mellie shares her felt gnome patterns at Flannel Friday. 


Sample Press Release

Click below to download in Word.

Sample Letter to Send to Towns and Parks

Click below to download in Word.

Fairies & Gnomes: Imagine Their Homes Elevator Pitch

Click below to download in Word.

Downloadable Images for Signage and Clip Art

*Click on the image, then right-click and choose "Save As" to save the image on your computer.

Pic Fairy and frog full color (1)

Pic Fairy harebell color yelow bkrnd sho

Fairy peeking color_turquoise bkrnd

Pic gnomes gardening color draft

Pic Fairy with butterfly green backgroun

Pic Fairy with butterfly color edited

Pic Fairy house logo for web button

Pic Buterfly fairy and mushroom gnome lo

Pic Gnomes Gardening logo for button

Gnome mushroom blue background

Where to build (1)

Wear a mask  (1)

wear a mask

Watch your step!

Twitter hashtag page

Socially distant

Please admire with your eyes and not you

Mushroom template

Logo Template

Limit visitors

Instagram hashtag post

In this home

Flower template

Fairy House Template  (1)

Fairy & Gnome Home Building Rules

Enjoy with your eyes

facebook # post

Don't step on me

Circle words template

be gentle







Downloadable Buttons for Your Website

These colorful buttons can be used as links on your library's website to connect patrons to To download, click on a desired image, then right-click and choose "Save As" to save the image on your computer.

Making Fairy Dolls Kits

Here are an instruction sheets and a supply list for any library that is making flower fairy kits for "take and make."

See our Events page for more info.

Click the icon to the left to download printable instructions. 

© 2020 Mohawk Valley Library System

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