When I arrived at Warrenville Public Library back in 2018, I wanted to explore the benefits of active engagement and library outreach via creative programming and art. We already had a very popular and highly anticipated arts programs series for kids. Time and time again I would hear from parents who wished we also offered craft programs geared towards adults, they wanted in on the fun. In 2019, I set out to fill this need and pitched a casual pop-up program for adults. We made aromatic envelop sachets, paper roses and painted rocks. Due to increased interest, what began as a pop-up event quickly developed into a more structured program. Unfortunately, just as we were getting ready to launch this new program series the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to rethink how to offer crafting programs.
As countless of people were placed under stay-at-home orders and libraries closed their doors to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus, we took our programming online including our fledging craft program for adults. Adhering to socially distanced guidelines, craft kits made up of all the materials needed to complete a project were assembled, and curbside pickups scheduled for interested participants. A link to our YouTube channel was emailed so that participants could follow the video tutorial at their leisure. Video tutorials have the added benefit of allowing playback at any time. These virtual craft programs have been incredibly well received and it’s no why. Keeping our brains active and calm during lockdown is essential for our mental health by reducing stress and anxiety levels. Working with our hands to create something also gives us a sense of accomplishment and you will have a fun craft project to show off at the end.
As we move forward, we’ll be using our craft projects as a conduit for culturally diverse programming. Culturally inspired crafts including Mexican tin hearts, Rosh Hashanah pomegranate brooches, and Eid lanterns are just a few crafts we have lined up!
Our guest blogger today is Nora Jimenez. Nora is the Adult Services Associate at Warrenville Public Library.. Nora is also a member of the My Library Is.. Advisory Team.