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Magic of Comics and Cartooning Workshop

Artist demonstrating how to draw on a white board

This was a workshop that was taught by a local artist who specializes in graffiti, comics, cartooning and anime, among other art forms. We hosted this workshop as part of our teen summer reading workshop. Our summer reading program theme was "Hocus Pocus: Discover the Magic at Your Library!" We wanted one area that we focused on to be art, so a Magic of Comics and Cartooning workshop was a good fit.

Summer Smoothie Smash

Participant on the smoothie blender bike

We partnered with the nutrition department at Louisiana State University (LSU) to bring in a blender bike for a fun and educational program. Teens ages 12 to 18 worked in groups to create one-of-a-kind smoothies and then judged each others' smoothies based on nutrition, color, texture and overall tastiness. The winning team received bragging rights and smoothie tumblers.

Maker Monsters

Monster Maker

Maker Monsters is the name of our summer library program. Students in kindergarten through fifth grade are welcome to come to our school library from 9 to 11 a.m. every Thursday for six weeks. While there, they can check books in and out, listen to a monster-themed storytime and make something. They also can interact with robots they program themselves and work with kits to create gadgets. A teacher/librarian leads the activities, an assistant helps with book searches and check-outs, and for several sessions, teachers and an author help with projects.

Library Circus

Girls in circus face-in-hole cutout

Each summer, we hold a popular children's program called the Library Circus. Designed for children from preschool to fifth grade, the one-hour program offers a variety of hands-on stations for kids to visit. Several hundred people attend each year, including families, preschools, day cares and summer school.

Programs From Our Patrons: Lessons Learned from ALA Annual 2016

ALA Annual Conference 2016 logo

On the morning of June 25, attendees of the 2016 ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, Fla., gathered to honor the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting. The vigil not only provided an opportunity to mourn, but it highlighted our profession’s commitment to creating safe and welcoming spaces for all patrons. ALA Annual focused on inclusion of patrons from all sections of our communities, whether or not they fit into our majority demographic. From collection development practices to program development, attendees were encouraged to listen to and learn from their patrons.

Online Dating Workshop

Everyone needs a little love! Ads for online dating sites

If you work at a public library, you probably answer lots of digital literacy questions: how to change the margins in Word, how to apply for a job online. At Darien Library, we noticed that quite a few people were quietly working on their dating profiles, but they were shy about asking for help. We wanted to create a program where people could ask questions and share their concerns in a safe environment.

While the workshop is open to everyone, it is particularly popular with middle-aged or older adults who are re-entering the dating scene after a breakup.


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