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Havre de Grace livens up the library with lip dub video

The library isn't usually a place where people are singing and dancing in the aisles – or the shelves, as the case may be – but that's exactly what visitors to the Havre de Grace library saw on April 17.

Branch employees eager to promote National Library Week decided to film a lip dub video to showcase the heavily-used, and soon-to-be expanded, Havre de Grace building.

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Library customers got in on the act, as they lip-synced and danced among the bookshelves to a cover version of Pharrell Williams' song "Happy."

Jackie Cassidy, children's librarian, said a staff member had child at Edgewood High School, where several popular school wide lip dubs have been made and posted on YouTube.

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"The first time I had ever seen a lip dub was the Edgewood school's," Cassidy said. "If you had said 'lip dub' to me, I wouldn't have known what that was at all."

She brushed up on the concept by watching other videos and, with the help of husband and videographer Dennis Cassidy, compiled a musical tribute to the Havre de Grace branch.

"We wanted to make it big and fun, and we timed it with National Library Week," Cassidy explained. "It was a lot of fun. We had some people suggest we do another one once we get our new building."

About 25 people were part of the lip dub, which took about 1 1/2 hours to shoot, Cassidy and branch manager Irmgarde Brown said.

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Customers visiting on the day of the shooting were warned the library might be a little noisier than usual, and some of them decided to join in on the action, Cassidy said.

"Everybody was very positive," she said of the reaction. "We had a lot of people show up. The building was pretty full the whole time we were filming."

The video, which can be seen on the Facebook page "Havre de Grace Library," had more than 400 views on YouTube by Wednesday morning.

Cassidy said the video had also reached more than 1,000 people on Facebook by Monday.

Coordinating the seemingly ceaseless action of a lip dub was a little tricky, Brown admitted.

"It was harder than we thought it was going to be," she said with a laugh.

She noted the shoot nevertheless drew a diverse crowd, ranging from children to the library's oldest member, who is 92.

Tales, the library system's mascot, also showed up to cheer everyone on.

"We had a pretty good response. It was the first time we have done something like that," Brown said. "Everyone is enthusiastic about it, and I think just the idea that it was done with the public, I think that was the part that people really enjoyed about it."

"It's totally community-driven, strictly for fun," she said. "We thought the kids would enjoy doing it."

One of the segments was filmed separately, during a Babies Love Books storytime, Cassidy said.

The branch expects to release another promotional video later this spring using more of the Babies Love Books footage, she said.

The video shines even more light on the Havre de Grace library as it gets set for its $7.7 million expansion.

"We are looking forward to our new building. We are just trying to keep generating enthusiasm for our staff and town," Brown said.

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