Helping Hands is an arts and crafts program that meets the needs of two communities — older adults and homeless populations — at the same time. Older adult participants socialize at the library while they make sleeping mats from upcycled plastic bags. The mats are then given to nearby homeless populations.
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Fans of Sherlock Holmes, particularly those that love the BBC "Sherlock" series, were invited to enjoy an author Q&A, crafts and an escape room. Texas author Alan J. Porter presented his experiences writing Sherlock Holmes stories, then patrons participated in activities. Crafts included Perler bead character magnets, adult coloring, and decorating mugs and 221B Baker Street notebooks.
Waxahachie has a social group called Rocks-a-Hachie, which paints and hides rocks all over town for others to find and re-hide. The 12-year-old founder of this group and her mother came to Nicholas P. Sims Library (NPSL) wanting to do a book-themed rock-hiding project that would get families excited about reading. Several group members painted all the rocks and wrote "return to library" on the back.
The Crafting for Charity group has existed at the Morton Grove Public Library since 2014. They meet once a month to work on their current project, choosing each project based on needs in the community.
Most recently the group undertook a project to create 75 Twiddlemuffs — knitted or crocheted hand muffs with various items (buttons, beads, etc.) attached — which serve the dual purpose of keeping hands warm while giving the fidgeting hands of many Alzheimer’s patients something to play with.
Feeling frazzled after the holidays? We invited patrons to transform plain white boxes into unique creations through collage, all while learning about art therapy and mindfulness in a relaxing environment. Attendees walked away with completed boxes that illustrated their feelings and matched their personal style. All supplies were provided.
We all know that February is the month to celebrate Valentine's Day, but did you know that February is also National Heart Month? Both celebrations provide opportunities for creative craft programs for teens.
Library Zine Night is a monthly opportunity for participants to work alone or collaboratively on zines, comics, artist books or other paper projects in the library for a few hours. The library provides staplers, trimmers, bookbinding materials, basic drawing supplies, paper, adhesives, scissors, discarded book scraps, scanners and free photocopying. Occasionally, we invite zinesters in the community to come in for demonstrations on new techniques and approaches.
Now is the perfect time to start planning some fun holiday library programs for teens. 2015 was the inaugural year of the Holidaze Crafts for Teens program at my library, where teens made their own holiday gifts to give to family and friends. It was a great success.
Art Lab is a recurring program focusing on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math), with a focus on art. It is held at 7 p.m. every Monday. The first and third Mondays of the month are planned lessons, and the second and fourth Mondays are open draw sessions for students to relax and meet other artists.
The information below focuses on our first Art Lab lesson: Japanese Bookbinding, in which the students made their own sketchbooks to take home.