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'Breakout' of the Mold: Breakout Programs in Libraries

Group of boys who almost broke the code

Like the increasingly popular "escape rooms" — in which players solve a series of puzzles to break out of a room — Breakouts use a compelling story, time limit, and series of puzzles to create an interactive game. But instead of breaking out of a locked room, students must work together to break into a tightly locked box before the timer runs out. Puzzles lead to the combinations for the different types of locks, and many games also include a digital element.

Project Prom

Room of dresses on racks

Project Prom collects gently used prom dresses, tuxedos, shoes and accessories and gives them to young people in need of formalwear. We started in 2012 and have grown like crazy. This year we had over 300 people attend!

Cake Decorating Workshop

Cake Decorating Techniques with Central Nines' To the Nines Restaurant

Patrons were invited to learn buttercream piping and decorating techniques with students from Central Nine Career Center's To the Nines Restaurant. Participants rotated through stations to learn to mix icing, write script and perform other decorating techniques.

Each participant left with a set of piping tips and a pastry bag. All supplies were provided, and participants were asked to pay $5.

Paint by Sticker

Paint by Sticker lion

Stickering is a fun alternative to the coloring craze, and it requires few supplies. I purchased three "Paint by Sticker" books — two for children and one for adults — to use at the event. Participants were invited to pick out whatever image they wanted from the books and go to work!

The children's images took about 30 minutes to complete, and the ones for adults took approximately an hour.

Watch the video below to see how painting-by-sticker works.

Game of Careers Boot Camp

Office board room

The University of West Florida Libraries’ Career Boot Camp is a two-session workshop in which students receive expert assistance on career-related topics such as social media professionalism, resume writing and interviewing. 

As a result of a successful partnership with UWF's Career Services department, we also provide students with personalized LinkedIn profile assistance and the chance to observe a live mock interview with a local hiring professional and student volunteer.

This year, the sessions took place from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on consecutive weekdays.

Adulting 101

An uncertain graduate

You've waited all these years to finally be an adult — no one to tell you to do your homework, clean your room, what time to be home or to eat your peas. Now what?

Adulting 101 is your go-to program to learn the basics of being a responsible grown-up. Monthly programs begin in February and run through the summer. We kicked off the series with a program called Bare Essential Cooking.

Noon Year's Eve Party

For the past three years the Lakeville Public Library has hosted a Noon Year’s Eve celebration on Dec. 31. We make party hats, dance, have photo booths and do a countdown to noon. The festivities end with a huge pizza party.

This is one of our largest and costliest events of the year; last year's party attracted more than 200 guests.


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