DCLSA April Newsletter 2014

Consuming Books at Dartmouth


On Monday, April 14th, the Edible Book Festival entries were accepted for display in Baker-Berry’s Treasure Room. Displays ranged from 50 Shades of Whey, to The Devils Food & Daniel Webster, and Green Eggs & Hamlet. Three judges evaluated the creative displays and determined which met the rated categories: 1) Most Likely to be Eaten, 2) Funniest/Punniest, and 3) Most Creative.

The International Edible Book Festival has been celebrated annually for 14 years, but how did it come to Dartmouth? Andi Bartelstein (Education & Outreach Librarian) scoured the Internet and other media for innovative ideas to publicize the Library’s good work, generate excitement, and keep us on our toes.

“I can’t remember how I came across it,” she states, “but I first read about it quite a few years ago and thought that it would be fun to do here.”

Dartmouth joined other libraries, organizations and bookstores from around the globe to bring this enjoyable challenge to everyone who has appreciated a good book. There is something more though… this challenge sat particularly well amongst book lovers in our community as we were reeling to leap into spring.

After all, late March in New Hampshire was dreary and bitterly cold at the end of an endless winter. Creative dinner planning sessions around edible book creations made arctic conditions more bearable for participants. “Literary punsters” were in their element conniving “primo” food related puns around their concepts. Library staff studied inspirational examples found online and strategized how to put food elements together.

A total of 28 entrants (including many Library staff) presented their results at the first annual edible book festival at Dartmouth.

When all the yummy works of art were reviewed and judged, winners were announced. The student who created the rainbow fish entry was given the people’s choice award. She decorated an extravagant cake that resembled the tropical, blue fish in Marcus Pfister’s award winning children’s book about sharing (The Rainbow Fish, 1999). She was shining with happiness as it was presented.

Brenda Delaney, assisted with marketing and remarked on the success of the festival: “This was an event that involved so many people including students, staff, faculty, teams from campus areas, and community members. It was low stress and high-energy level. There was one lady from Keene who had come with her family. She said she couldn’t wait to do a cake for next year!”

Bartelstein agreed, “By all accounts it was extremely successful! We’ve gotten lots of very positive feedback; people asking when we’re going to do it again.”

Well-known punster, Todd Minsk (Baker/Berry Access Servies), remarked about the festival: “I thought it was in good taste.”

So, whatever inspires you to enjoy edible books, it’s never too early to start planning for next year’s event.

The edible book festival could be known as another true sign of spring at Dartmouth, thanks to the great ideas from Andi Bartelstein, the Library’s Marketing and Communications Committee, and the Library Leadership Group.

If that didn’t get your stomach rumbling, please take note of what’s coming up next:

We have a DCLSA Salad Event on the Calendar! In keeping with the Health & Wellness 8 Week Challenge, we are hosting a “make your own salad event” on April 30th noon-2PM. We, the DCLSA, will provide healthy lettuce, salad dressings, bowls and utensils. Staff are encouraged to bring one topping to share. Staff may opt to bring the usual salad fixings such as shredded carrots, cucumbers, croutons or they can bring an odd favorite (sardines anyone?). This is easy enough that care boxes of greens, dressings, bowls, and utensils can easily be sent to our DCLSA members located in libraries off campus.

Greg Potter (Research & Instruction) is going to send out a sign up sheet, in advance, to staff so we have an idea of what toppings are expected, and how many people might be participating.

Any additional thoughts or input are always welcomed and appreciated [Dartmouth.college.library.staff.association@dartmouth.edu].

Lastly, enjoy some of our staff-favorite cookbook items located on our DCLSA webpage via the Cookbook link.

Bon Appétit!


Presented by the DCLSA Marketing Committee:

Mary Bingman

Rick Hansen

April Hayden