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Maker Monday: Book Wreaths

Patrons holding up completed book wreaths

Maker Monday is a recurring program at my library. On the last Monday of the month, we host 15 to 20 patrons to make something new in our Maker Space. Popular programs, like vision boards and book wreaths, we repeat multiple times based on patron demand. This class fills up each time we offer it, plus a substantial waitlist.

For this particular craft, we created book wreaths using withdrawn library materials. While some patrons were nervous to tear apart books, many enjoyed upcycling materials.

Not Just for STEM Class: Makerspace Programming & English Language Arts

A human figure made out of popsicle sticks with clay and a balloon

As librarians, we are passionate advocates for makerspace programming. We share with teachers and students how makerspaces engage and develop critical thinking and problem solving skills. Our school library has supported many makerspace programming events, from Makerspace Monday to our monthly Makerspace challenge.

Constellation Cross-Stitch

Constellation Cross-Stitch program flier

Constellation Cross-Stitch is a beginner's class where patrons of all ages can learn basic techniques in cross-stitch and embroidery. Patrons utilize skills such as hand/eye coordination and hand dexterity, and they leave with a piece of handmade art for their home.

Game and Activity Day

two red dice lay on a table

Created in 2016, our library's Game and Activity Day is a monthly afterschool program where we set up a variety of games and activities in the library for kids and their families to use.

We incorporate a mix of single and multi-user games and activities, ranging from basic board games to more physical activities, like ping-pong and mini-golf.

Nailed It / Failed It: Holiday Snacks Edition

Candy on a stick with marshmallows to look like a face.

This program was inspired by Netflix show "Nailed It!", which features amateur bakers trying to bake crazy cakes and treats.

Our program encouraged teen and tween participants to create decorative, fun snacks. Since the program was being held in December, we challenged them to make holiday-themed marshmallow pops: a reindeer, a Santa and a snowman.

Skills for Community-Centered Libraries: Learning through Experience

Edgar Dale's Cone of Experience

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” — Xun Kuang, philosopher

Imagine trying to learn to knit. Would you learn best by reading a book about knitting? Hearing a friend talk about knitting? Watching an expert knitter? Or learning the basic steps and actually trying to knit?

Twiddlemuffs for Charity

Completed Twiddlemuffs

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.

Let Out the Banksy in You

Panel wall for guests to draw on

Let Out the Banksy in You was a passive companion program to Banksy Booked @KHPCL, the theme for a number of active and passive programs to coincide with a six-week exhibit of Banksy’s “Haight Street Rat” street art.

Banksy Booked @KHCPL made the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library (KHCPL) the first library in the world to host a Banksy. 

In this passive program, we simply used primed plywood and markers to invite patrons to try their own hands at street art.

How to Make Slime

Child holding slime

Our How to Make Slime program gave students the opportunity to use common household ingredients to create their own slime.

They practiced skills including reading recipes, measuring, mixing colors and trial and error to make a colorful, slimy substance that they then played with and took home.

Hypertufa Pots

Finished hypertufa pots

Hypertufa is a building substance that has been popular with hobby gardeners since its creation in the 1930s. It is made from a mixture of peat moss, perlite, Portland cement and water. It can be formed and shaped to create pots, planters and statuary for gardens. 

In this program, patrons watched a live demonstration of the hypertufa mixing process, then used the mixture to create their own pots for their home gardens. This program is designed for adults only.

No-Sew Pillows for Giving

Heart pillow

If you’re looking for a program that makes everyone feel good, this is it. The Bedford (Ind.) Public Library presented two workshops where attendees cut, tied and stuffed 137 no-sew pillows for donation to the special needs wing of a local nursing home. The library made it possible for even young children to participate. 

Hail to the Green

Hands holding shamrock slime

I love March — partly because green is my favorite color and, of course, on St. Patrick's Day everyone gets to wear green. I remember as a kid picking out something green to wear so I wouldn't get pinched at school. As the years went by, I would try to hide my green just to trick everyone.

Whether you love the holiday or just love green like me, have fun indulging in green galore with these St. Patrick’s Day crafts.

 

Craft a Meditation Box

A meditation box

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. 

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