By Tanya Paglia, Young Adult Librarian
Last fall, I stumbled across a 2021 video of a Christian Dior fashion show inspired by a tarot card deck from 15th-century Italy, where the game originated. Dior’s gowns were rich expressions of the magical and intricate nature of the Tarot, which came to be famous for its role in divination and fortune telling but today is often used as a form of therapy.
It gave me an idea. Wouldn’t it be cool if the library created an interactive program in the Teen Room to make our own Tarot deck using a green screen and some costumes?
So, for two hours every Tuesday and Thursday night in October, our Maker Space transformed into a pseudo-photography studio filled with a wide array of borrowed clothes, gowns, headpieces, props, and more. I invited a local costume jewelry maker to bring his uniquely adorned crowns and tiaras, as well as an antique sword collector who let us use some of his beautiful swords to give our images a more authentic look.
Teens chose the card they wanted to interpret—mainly, the major arcana cards such as the sun, moon, and magician—and adorned themselves in the costumes and props to have their photos taken.
I was lucky to have two enthusiastic and talented teens assist with everything from background choices to prop position to editing and designing the final product. Our Technology Coordinator and Digital Services Librarian also played a huge role in helping to get this project print-ready. And of course, this project would not have been possible without funding from the Friends of the Library.
Eventually, the images were sent to be printed on card decks, and we eagerly awaited their arrival. We were not disappointed. They came in early February, sealed in our custom-designed “tuck boxes” that included all the names of the participants along with our library logo.
At our “Tarot Reveal” party on Valentine’s Day, everyone got to see the finished product for the first time and take home their own deck, snack on chocolate and other goodies, and get a personal reading from a local Tarot card reader. But the best part was watching each teen’s reaction when they found their own card in the deck.
Those interested in seeing our Teen Tarot deck in person are invited to stop by the Reference Desk, where we have a deck for patrons to peruse while they are in the library. I promise it’s worth the trip!