Check out this video, made by Jeff Smith at the University of Michigan School of Information, to learn more about our partnership with Northern Michigan’s Benzonia Public Library and our pre-Halloween Costume Creation Challenge!
On March 18th, the Benzonia Public Library hosted a spring fair with the student athlete from the local schools. The children in the community got to try their hands on crafts, face painting, and t-shirt painting. These were accompanied by fun activities like reading, Corn bag tossing, bowling and a photo booth made possible by different members of the community.
Here are a few images from the event:
Hello! Kamya and I are tickled to be back in Benzonia today, hosting a half-day workshop on design thinking for librarians and educators working with teens.
You can find the slides here.
If you’d like to join us on Saturday, March 11, for another variation of this workshop in Saginaw, click here to register for free.
We were so excited to spend the weekend in Benzonia for meetings with our colleagues from Benzonia Public Library (BPL) and Grow Benzie and to get to be part of the BPL Holiday Party!
Community carols, the perfectly-advertised hilarious puppet show, and then lots of time to make stuff!
The Repurposeful Librarians set up several craft stations for kids, and we had a gift-making and wrapping station consisting of:
Blank certificate paper so kids could make coupons (“good for one back rub”) or certificates (“Best Mom!”), roll them up, tie them with ribbons, and present as holiday gifts.
Recycled suede bookmarks, with the last-minute addition of similar recycled suede bracelets (we bought suede jackets for $1 at thrift stores and cut them into standard shapes that participants could then fringe or trim into their preferred shapes) that kids of all ages could stamp, draw on with Sharpies, and gift:
QuestLove-inspired LEGO pins. We threw some ornament hooks into the van at the last minute, and LEGO ornaments were way more popular!
Buttons and magnets made with our donated vintage button-maker and our brand-new 1″ buttonmaker from American Buttons! We had blank circles for DIY original artwork, plus a vintage dictionary, picture book galleys, and magazines for those preferring to hunt for art:
And you can’t hide your gifts from family members unless you take them home already-wrapped, right? So we also had an easy-for-kids gift-wrapping station, complete with lots of bows rescued from a local thrift store:
Sadly, we had to return to the campus world of semester-end cramming, projects, and grading, but not before we caught a glimpse of the Holiday Magic parade!
We have been deriving so much pleasure from our ongoing partnership with BPL. Benzonia is 4+ hours from Ann Arbor, but we chattered the whole way there and back, inspired and full of new ideas. We cannot wait for our next trip there in January!
To see more photos, as well as what the Repurposeful Librarians had up their sleeves for kids to make, check out our Flickr photo album!
Kamya and I have had the Benzonia Craft Fair marked in our calendars since August. We’ve been dying to see the work of the Repurposeful Librarians, Michelle and Cathy’s fundraising-through-crafting arm. Proceeds benefit programs at Benzonia Public Library.
We came up the day before for some meetings, then were bowled over by what we saw at the Fair. (Let’s just say we did much of our holiday shopping, too!)
Getting off the elevator, I saw this (left to right):
(More homemade concoctions, then a booth raising money for education in Borneo by repurposing shoe leather scraps, then a booth selling upcycled wool mittens, hats, adn clothing.)
Here is some of what drew our eye at the Repurposeful Librarians’ booth:
(These are actually carefully excised from a donated coffee table book and sold for $1/page. So many sold while we were there. What a clever and profitable alternative to selling the book itself at a book sale!)
(Ornaments from recycled materials.)
(Rolled up print = snowman)
(Having bought many gifts at the booth, I realize these photos are full of what I did not buy but yearned for!)
(More rolled paper designs)
(Everything sold by the Repurposeful Librarians is designed and made by library staffers on their own time. All profits benefit programs at the library. This is the only library I know of that has a program like this!)
Beyond the Repurposefuls, Sophie had Charlie Brown trees for sale:
Jimmy’s booth featured one-of-a-kind Harry Potter wands. If you were really lucky, Sophie was working the booth and could help you pick one just right for you. Then she’d tell you what was inside the wand (mine had a phoenix feather). Service right out Diagon Alley!
And this booth of art, batik art (including a book!), and lavender treats from the Flynn farm:
We were so inspired by the artistry we saw in this single small room — we got lots of, err, “holiday” shopping done. If only there had been enough money for a custom upcycled wool jacket … the basket woven with an antler handle … the quilt … the stuffed dragon tail for kids … the jewelry worthy of an episode of The Tudors …)
Enjoy the visual feast!