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Chillin': Crafting it up with Cappuccinos

June 21, 2016
Program Type
Makerspace
Program Series
Target Audience
Adult
Young Adult
Program Topic
Arts and Culture
Crafting / Hands-on
Food and Drink
Budget
$1-50
Advance Planning

The people in charge of programming at Jackson County Public Library (JCPL) went to several national and state conferences to find out what programs would interest patrons in their 20s and 30s. Information Services Assistant Stephanie Sluder and Information Services Librarian Becky Brewer studied other ideas online. After coming up with the idea for the Chillin' program, they discussed it with the library director.

Teens and college-age adults comprise 34 percent of Jackson County's population, so JCPL's original plan was to target the 20-to-30 age group with this program. However, after having quite a few unsuccessful turnouts for other programs geared toward that age demographic, they decided Chillin' would be open to all adults and teens.

Marketing

Chillin' is included in JCPL's seasonal program guide, which is usually available one to three months in advance. (View JCPL's seasonal program guide under Attachments at right.) Fliers are put up all around the library and posted on the library's Facebook page. A press release also goes in the local newspapers.

This program has definitely been noticed. However, at first, many were confused and assumed it was a program where a specific craft project was taught. Word about the program is still spreading, and we often hear that people love the idea.

Budget Details

We have spent around $50 on supplies, which has lasted us more than six months. Initially, we purchased enough supplies to serve 49 people. The money was spent on cappuccino mix, coffee and Styrofoam cups.

The library owns a Keurig machine, which is kept in the staff lounge; it was brought out for Chillin'. To cut costs, Stephanie suggested buying the cappuccino powder mix since it's cheaper than the Keurig K-Cups. If libraries use the powder, a coffee maker is needed to properly heat up the water for it.

Day-of-event Activity

On the day of the event, Stephanie starts setting up the program an hour in advance. Tasks include the following, in no particular order:

  • Set up the tables so crafters can face each other to socialize.
  • Get the coffee maker and/or Keurig machine ready and turn it on 10 minutes before the program.
  • Set out the Styrofoam cups.
  • Pick CDs to play during the program. Also have a good selection of books and DVDs related to all types of craft topics for patrons to look at and check out later.
  • Print out a few sheets of different copyright-free adult coloring pages and set them out along with colored pencils. Other small, inexpensive crafts can be set out as well.

Most of this can be prepared the day before so staff isn't as stressed getting it all together at once.

Only one staff member is needed to set up the program. Chillin' does not require a staff member to stay during the whole program; Stephanie usually pops in every 20 to 30 minutes to make sure the program is going well and has enough supplies. 

Program Execution

As patrons walk into the program, music is already playing and the cappuccinos are ready to be made. Most of the time, Stephanie offers to make one for them, but they can make one for themselves too. As soon as they are ready, the group starts their crafts. They do not need to wait on others to begin. As more people come in, more greetings and socializing takes place. During the whole program, they enjoy crafting, socializing and drinking cappuccinos. After the first 15 minutes or so, Stephanie informs the patrons about JCPL's other programs, especially the craft programs. She makes sure there are plenty of program guides available for people to take.

The program's highest attendance has been six people with a couple of regulars. However, new people are still coming to check it out. Other patrons have let staff know that they love the program and want to come, but cannot always attend due to their schedules.

At the end of each program, JCPL hands out small evaluation forms. The form asks:

  1. What did you like about this program?
  2. What would have made it better?
  3. What other programs would you like for us to have at the library?
  4. What are the best days and times for programs?

The feedback JCPL has received from these evaluation forms has been positive. One attendee mentioned they like the "quiet time to work without interruption." Another mentioned that they like "getting out of the house [and] meeting people." The attendees have been wanting more craft programs, which is what JCPL has been improving on over the past year.

Advice

Staff should prepare as much as they can before the day of the program. Even though it is a program for people to bring their own crafts, always have something available for them to do. Adult coloring, origami and any other small inexpensive crafts work well.

Short Title
Chillin': Crafting it up with Cappuccinos

Chillin': Crafting it up with Cappuccinos is a monthly program that started in September 2015. It is an ongoing program in which adults and teens bring craft projects from home to work on while socializing with fellow crafters and enjoying free cappuccinos.

Attachments
Program Date
Sun, 2015-09-13
  • Patron starting a craft project
    Patron starting a craft project
  • Patron working on yarn hooking project
    Patron working on yarn hooking project
  • Patron working on cross stitch
    Patron working on cross stitch
  • Two cats yarn hooking project
    Two cats yarn hooking project
  • Christmas yarn hooking project
    Christmas yarn hooking project
  • Craft book display
    Craft book display
  • Adult coloring
    Adult coloring
  • Crochet project
    Crochet project
  • Knitting project
    Knitting project
  • Yarn
    Yarn
Summary

A library in Indiana hosts a low-key craft program for locals to socialize and work on their latest projects.