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Libraries Rock

August 7, 2019
Popular Topics
Coloring, Crafts & Hands-on
Health and Wellness
Passive Programming
Audience
Adult
Children / Family
College Students
Community Members
Homeless Populations
Older Adults / Seniors
Rural
Tweens and Teens
Urban
Young Adult
Budget
Free
$1-50
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Short Title
Libraries Rock

Haven't heard of the craze for painting and hiding rocks? You might be living under, well … a boulder.

If you weren't already familiar with the craze for painting rocks and hiding them, you might be living under, well … a large boulder.

Here's how we used the trend to create an easy, low-cost, intergenerational program that encouraged physical literacy, community involvement and the arts.

A table with painted rocks on it

Expert resources and DIY solutions

There is a trademarked Kindness Rocks Project where an educator will come (for a fee, of course) into your school or library and give a talk about the importance of compassion. You can also order rock-painting kits over the Internet.

But many communities are taking the initiative into their own hands by collecting stones, painting them in a cheerful, engaging way, and hiding them around town so other people can find them and feel enriched by the experience. And hopefully the finders then “re-gift” by hiding the rock again — or painting and hiding some of their own.

Photos of rocks are shared on local Facebook pages dedicated to the movement, such as this one from our local rock-hunting group in Carleton County, New Brunswick, Canada. 

Rock-painting workshop and gallery

As part of our annual Dooryard Arts Festival, the LP Fisher Public Library in Woodstock, New Brunswick, hosted a rock-painting workshop and had a rock gallery.

From 2 to 4 p.m. on Friday, July 19, we covered tables with plastic, gathered clean rocks of various sizes (some people also brought their own) and set out paintbrushes, baby wipes and napkins (for clean-up), acylic paint, cups of water, and paper plates (for mixing colors).

Two enthusiastic volunteers ran the show, one of whom brought many of the supplies and helped organize the event. People of all ages and abilities showed up to paint rocks — we lost count at about 50 people! The participants were encouraged to take their rocks home to decorate their dooryards or to hide in town.

During the month of July, we also had a display of rocks on tables and plinths all over the library painted by local artists. Some of the rocks were real works of art. We had many tourists and locals come into the library just the see the gallery. That gave us an opportunity to tell them about our wonderful services and collections.

If you hide it, they will come

On Monday, July 29, library staff and volunteers took the painted rocks (minus a few the artists wanted to keep) and hid them all over Woodstock in local parks, walking trails and near downtown businesses. Visitors eager to find the treasures were out hunting immediately.

If you'd like to check out a really cool rock painting program idea that involves more organization and a bit more effort from library staff, I highly recommend this fantastic program model from Holly Browning at the Nicholas P. Sims Library in Waxahachie, Texas.

Painted rocks displayed on a table
Library Type
Public
Rural
School (K-12)
Popular Topics
Coloring, Crafts & Hands-on
Health and Wellness
Passive Programming
Audience
Adult
Children / Family
College Students
Community Members
Homeless Populations
Older Adults / Seniors
Rural
Tweens and Teens
Urban
Young Adult
Budget
Free
$1-50
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