The Tehama County Library Reduce, Reuse, Re-scare Costume Swap Makes Recycling Creative Fun!


Princesses, pirates, skeletons, fairies, cowboys and more … kids can find what they need to become a character of their choice at a unique event that makes finding a costume for Halloween a fun, creative experience.

The Red Bluff Library’s upcoming Reduce, Reuse, Re-scare Costume Swap event helps both the environment and parents’ budgets to boot.

“Kids get to pick out a unique costume that they love,” says Todd Deck, Librarian II at the library. “Many costumes are hand-made or from a few years back and so are brand-new to the kids.” 

Creative re-use – taking something old and making it new – is part of the Tehama County Library’s identity. In fact, the Red Bluff Library building was originally a Safeway, and the library is currently raising funds to renovate the Red Bluff Daily News building as the library’s future home.

The library staff loves presenting the re-use concept in a way that’s applicable to children and families. “The event is a fun way for us to carry on our legacy of recycling and reusing,” says Sally Ainsworth, Acting County Librarian. “We are proud that we can give costumes to families that need them and that the costumes are being used again.”

Developing community partnerships has been another priority of the library. The costume swap is being co-presented with the Tehama County Solid Waste Management Agency, bringing an educational component to the experience. “A recycle, reuse Halloween costume swap has been an ideal partnership with the agency,” says Ainsworth.

“Creating programs that educate our youth and provide resources to our community, specifically programs and resources that further our ‘recycle’ culture, is important for the long-term environmental health of our county,” says Rachel Ross, Tehama County Solid Waste Management Agency Manager. “We are fortunate that the library shares this vision.”

Here’s how the swap works: From now until event day, participants may bring costumes they want to donate or exchange to the Red Bluff Library circulation desk any time the library is open. On the day of the event, donors can come pick out a different costume to bring home.

“It’s great for people to be able to participate in a Halloween event in a way that doesn’t have to cost a lot,” says Deck. “Eliminating the underlying stress of cost can make the holiday experience a lot more fun.”

Participants are invited to indulge in a sweet treat during the library’s I-Scream Social fundraising event that takes place concurrently. Cost is $5 and includes a craft activity, games, and a bowl of ice cream from Scoops in downtown Red Bluff. “Scoops is known as an ice cream institution,” shares Deck.

There’s more: Visitors will find creative inspiration in the library’s decorated pumpkin auction that features pumpkins hand-crafted by library staff. Last year the auction raised close to $400, with the funds earmarked for the library’s building renovation.

The costume exchange, ice cream social and pumpkin auction all take place Saturday, October 15th, from 1-6pm. The Red Bluff Library is located at 645 Madison St. For more information visit or call (530) 527-0604.

“Ultimately libraries are about sharing,” says Deck, “whether that’s books, ideas, information … or costumes!”

Lisa Shara
About Lisa Shara

Writer Lisa Shara lives in upper Northern California where she is involved in a variety of community projects.

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