The Highland Park Public Library envisioned forming one robotics team that would meet weekly to participate in the FIRST LEGO League (FLL). FLL is a robotics program that gives elementary and middle-school students the opportunity to work and create together to solve a common problem using robots and research.
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I believe in the value of public programming, and I derive great satisfaction from both attending and planning them. Therefore, I was excited to be asked to speak at the 2017 ALA Annual Conference about “Creating Dynamic Programs and Events at Your Academic Library.” When an unavoidable conflict took away this opportunity, I opted to share my firsthand knowledge via the secondhand means of a video, available here.
The idea to hold a Quidditch clinic for teens arose from our local teens' excitement for any and all Harry Potter-related programming. We’ve done numerous Harry Potter-themed programs in the past (typically trivia or costumed events), but had yet to tackle Quidditch. We wanted to engage teens that might have an interest in physical activities as this event was in collaboration with our local YMCA.
Imagine our surprise when we found out a rogue scientist had set up a lab right here in the library ... and, you guessed it, things have gone awry. The tests have gotten out of control, and we’re now overrun with zombies!
In this fun after-hours program, young adult patrons came to the library ready to battle the hordes. Their challenge: use their smarts to decode clues ... or become one of the infected.
A common perception on campuses is that students will attend programs if free food is part of the deal. Well, that may be true. Instead of an afterthought, food can be the main focus and still not cost a fortune. Two recent food-focused events helped us invite students to come see Storytime Censored, a fall exhibition of challenged or banned children’s books.
As librarians everywhere will attest, fake news is not new; fabricated stories have been presented as truth for centuries. But take a divided electorate and add a social media landscape where misinformation is shared with a click, and interest in the topic has soared.
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.
East Lansing Welcomes the World is an annual program in which the city of East Lansing welcomes international students from Michigan State University (MSU), and their families, to the city. The program is held on a Sunday in September or October from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. It is a partnership between the library, the city of East Lansing and Michigan State University.
Art Lab is a recurring program focusing on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math), with a focus on art. It is held at 7 p.m. every Monday. The first and third Mondays of the month are planned lessons, and the second and fourth Mondays are open draw sessions for students to relax and meet other artists.
The information below focuses on our first Art Lab lesson: Japanese Bookbinding, in which the students made their own sketchbooks to take home.