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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Recycle a Ton in 2021! is Benton Middle School Tiger Library's successful community service recycling program.
The ability to pull off any type of community service project this year, during COVID, was a feat. To do it at a new middle school, on a new campus, with a new staff and students who had never stepped foot on this campus before this year, was unbelievable. This put the library as the center point, the gathering place, the hangout and the place with the answers. Fostering collaboration of our faculty and community is essential to the life of an exemplary library program.
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For this particular craft, we created book wreaths using withdrawn library materials.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.
Being eco-friendly has taken center stage in recent years. Many library users want to make more sustainable choices but may lack the knowledge of how to do so. Programs focused on "going green" are a fun, accessible way for patrons to celebrate Earth Day, and they can also be an easy lift for a busy librarian. Below are eight eco-friendly program ideas that you can use to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day with hardly any prep work at all.