Inspiration Place is an adult craft series that met exclusively on Zoom from May 2020 to January 2022 and averaged 15 attendees per session. April 2022 was the first time a hybrid option was offered, allowing patrons the choice of attending on Zoom or in-person. Out of the 20 registered, 3 attended in-person and 17 virtually.
For the April 2022 Spring Fantasy program, attendees painted spring-blooming trees with pounce brushes for delicate dots and strokes, topped with beautiful crystal beads. The accent was made by mixing colors to achieve the desired shade of spring. During the program, the attendees shared their vision and additions to the project, achieving the goal of inspiring each other to create.
Planning begins several months in advance. Marina will begin by coming up with a theme, creating a prototype, and assembling an instruction PowerPoint with images. Emily will purchase supplies and assemble craft bags.
Learn more about the program in this PDF. 
Craft supply list:
- Palette paper
- Round foam brushes
- Glue sticks
- 1 oz cups
- Crystal beads
- Acrylic paint
- Paint brushes
Technology used: Laptop, overhead camera, projector and AV cart.
The library promotes programs in a few ways through an eNewletter, events calendar and printed monthly brochure.
The materials budget for this craft was just under $200 ($10 per attendee).
There have been a few unexpected technological challenges in the past couple of years. We always make sure to have a Zoom meeting practice session to test sound, lighting, cameras and PowerPoint. While Marina presents on Zoom and engages with attendees, Emily provides technical support.
For set up, we need a laptop with a projector and an AV cart with a large screen. The screen on the AV cart provides a gallery view of virtual participants that is blurred for privacy. A separate webcam shows the view of in-person participants. We also set up tables classroom-style for in-person participants with the flexibility to move around the room and distance as needed.
One aspect of this hybrid program that patrons really appreciated was flexibility. As the COVID transmission level in Saratoga County is still high, our goal is to provide registrants with all the information they need to make the best choice for their safety.
Supplies are available to pick up at the library one week before the program date. The first time we offered a hybrid option, the reminder email also included a detailed description of the program room space and the Zoom Meeting ID.
Patrons have responded tremendously to the safe space that Inspiration Place offers. Marina’s instruction style allows patrons to work at their own pace and encourages them to speak freely and openly. To make this program as interactive as possible, we give permission at the beginning of the program to unmute at any time or use the chat box for questions/comments.
Make sure to repeat any questions or comments for virtual and in-person attendees to keep the separate groups on the same page.
Funding for this article has been provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the American Rescue Plan: Humanities Organization Grant.
About This Library
The Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library is located in upstate New York and serves a combined population of approximately 60,000 residents. We nurture and foster community connections by providing the space and resources for patrons of all ages and backgrounds to be educated, entertained and enriched. In 2021, CPH Library offered more than 600 programs, both virtually and in-person, attended by 11,000 children, teens and adults.