Friday, August 18, 2017

You don’t have to go it alone to host great library programs

Lisa Martin, children’s librarian and Madison Public Library, said that two of their most popular programs this summer were a result of partnerships with the community.

Woman assisting young man using sewing machine
Learning how to operate a sewing machine.

“Our Sew What project was thought up and presented entirely by library patron and Friends member, Mary Kenyon. I was just looking for someone to lend sewing machines and help us sew handkerchiefs into book bags. She had us do amazing bookmarks. Each teen left in awe of what they had made. It was the first time some had ever used those tools. NONE of them had ever even used an iron, my own boys included!

Young boy with handmade toys
Showing off creations after the Sew What activity.

The most popular program was the result of a partnership with the DSU CybHER group. I wanted to bring more tech into the library. They have been awesome! For the teens, they brought in Makey Makeys, Little Bits, and a self-learning robot. The kids played around with the tech toys, asked questions and had a great time.”
Girl building creation
Inventing with Little Bits.

two teens with a Makey Makey setup including wires, boards, and laptop
Making music out of cupcakes and bananas with a Makey Makey.

three teens (boys and girl) with a robot
Playing with Max, the self learning robot.

Don’t overlook local “experts” and school or community organizations as a resource. Be open to their ideas about what will make your program even better. Remember that reaching out can give the library extra visibility in the community.