Tag Archives: art

Arts Gala, Technology, & the Maker Movement in Libraries

What an interesting weekend! The Arts Gala is officially over! What a successful event; there were so many wonderful artists and such a variety of art available. I purchased a new handmade mug (out of which I just drank a cup of tea, yum), a gift for my sister, a wooden kitchen tool for Nate, a handwoven mat to go under the Keurig I have at work, and a gorgeous polymer clay necklace pendant thing that matches the dress I bought for the event. It’s my reward for wearing the dress and for working so hard this week and weekend.

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I had a really interesting discussion with the artist that makes the wooden utensils. He talked about technology and how it seems to affect kids these days, and it morphed into how it also affects people his age, in their 50s and older. It used to be that kids spent more time outside, dreaming up things and entertaining themselves with their own creations. Now technology consumes kids and adults. I argue, though, that while it certainly can become consuming, kids are better at multitasking and can maintain a variety of interests.

This really gets me even more interested in the idea of implementing makerboxes in the library. Being able to integrate technology with other things (creating music, crafts, art, food, clothes, games, etc.) is vital right now, for kids and adults. For kids because, well, they’re our future, and technology is unarguably a part of the future. And for adults because they need to be able to get creative, learn new skills, and both fail and succeed at things, just like kids do. I would like our library to do several things with these makerboxes, but my thoughts are all too exciting and disjointed right now for them to be productive.

I want to create a few boxes with a handful of themed items within. Music, STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), crafts/art.

I want to offer sporadic and unstructured library programs involving one makerbox at a time. For example, we set out the STEM makerbox and have a librarian start building a marble run or work on a Lego robotics kit. Kids, teens and even adults would see what’s happening and become interested and it would be an opportunity for them to try things out without having to stay for the duration of a program. Another idea is to set out a crafting makerbox with yarn, knitting needles, and a crochet hook. As people pass by they can contribute to an ongoing project that is set out for a week or so.

I love the idea of encouraging creativity and interaction that doesn’t have the boundaries of time or a set of expectations to go along with it. I can’t wait to get something started in my library. I think that, though it was stressful, having PLA and the Arts Gala back to back has really inspired me and renewed my passion for my job.

If only my office at work wasn’t a pigsty.

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Plainfield Library Arts Gala & How I Love Planning Events @ the Library

I’m super excited to be a part of this year’s Arts Gala at the Plainfield Library. Last year, the first year for the gala, I was on maternity leave, so I wasn’t a part of the planning or the actual event. I saw pictures and heard about it, and it really sounds like it was a magical event.

This second annual Arts Gala, entitled “Visions,” will be held March 21-23. The focus this year is on abstract art. Artists from Indiana and surrounding areas will display and sell their artwork at the library with the library receiving a percentage of the proceeds to fund the facelift the children’s room is receiving this spring. People who pledge to spend $50 are able to attend the exclusive Starlight Reception event on Friday, march 21, from 6:30-9:00pm. There are multitudes of local hors d’oeuvres, beer, and wine as well as music and obviously the opportunity to be among the first to see and purchase the artwork.

I’m no art connoisseur, but I do love art and have a large amount of respect for artists of all kinds. I heard from my friends and coworkers who planned and attended the event last year that it was extremely fun. I can’t wait!

It’s currently being advertised on the Plainfield Library’s website, if you want more information, or (of course) I can pass along any information. It’s a great event that supports local artists and helps to plant the importance of art in the community, and it’s a super fundraiser for a wonderful cause: my favorite library.

 

One of my favorite things about working at this library is the opportunity I have to make my voice heard in program planning. We do all kinds of interesting and varied things for all kinds of audiences. Our programming meetings are crazy, because we’re all so amped all the time with excitement and creativity. I never know what’s going to happen. From discussing the possibility of a cardboard maze, to possible Post Secret events, to ways to market our resources and programs. 

Here is one of my favorite stories that illustrates my love for my job and my library’s craziness: When I was pregnant with Atticus last year, on Valentine’s Day, the Harlem Shake was all the rage. Everyone thought it was hilarious. We love making videos, and at a programming meeting that afternoon we all decided it would be awesome if we made our own version. So we did. Within the afternoon. I do some of the filming and all of the editing for things like that (it means I don’t have to be in front of the camera…) so we got a bunch of staff together in the work room in the back. I’m very short, so in order to get a good camera angle of everyone in the room, I stood on a step stool. I was 9 months pregnant. I looked like this:

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We shot the video, edited it, and posted it within 2 hours. Check it out here. And of course our patrons loved it. I went home, went to bed, couldn’t sleep, and headed to the hospital 12 hours later. A few hours after that I had a little baby named Atticus.

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I love my job.