Decorative image of cameras and toys in the window of a UK charity shop. Attribution at bottom of blog post.

Would you schedule an upcycling challenge in your library?

(cross-posted from the MakerBridge blog)

Recently, I read a post on the “Feathering My Nest” blog. Blogger Lacey describes an upcycling challenge she was invited to be a part of. She wrote:

I’m so excited to have been invited to be a part of the Ultimate Upcycle Challenge: Planted! A sustainable design project created to raise awareness and funds for Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta, the Ultimate Upcycle Challenge: Planted challenged nine local influencers to each upcycle pre-loved items from the Calgary ReStore into a unique planter, using only a mystery box of Rust-Oleum Consumer Brands Canada products and a $50 design budget. Each entry will be exhibited and then auctioned off at the Calgary Home + Garden Show, happening February 25-28, 2016 at BMO Centre & Corral Stampede Park. 100 per cent of auction proceeds directly benefit the Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta and its local affordable build projects.

As I talked about this with some of my colleagues preparing for the Making in Michigan Libraries summer professional development road trip, we thought this kind of challenge — perhaps with a smaller budget — would be a lot of fun for public libraries to engage in. For a zero-budget approach, everyone could be asked to bring a paper grocery bag of discarded materials, and the library could facilitate a swap. You could partner with a local hardware or big box store, or with a thrift shop that regularly has to discard unsold items, and suddenly, you can scale this project even larger. And like the example above, projects could be auctioned off, with proceeds benefiting future maker programming, a circulating tools or maker kit library, or more.

What do you think?

 

Kristin Fontichiaro

 

Image: “Window display in a UK charity shop” by ProfDEH on Wikimedia Commons. CC-BY-SA-3.0.

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