Map Out the Library

If you’re looking for something interesting to do with the kids on a rainy afternoon, or weekend, why not stop by the library and “map it out”!

Mapping is a fun tool for creative–and busy–kids. It involves planning, imagination, and nothing more than a piece of paper and pencil. The map doesn’t have to be to scale…it doesn’t even have to be straight! It just has to fill up space on the page, and allow the mapper to fill it in.

What is mapping?

Mapping is simply drawing a space, and filling in everything that is already there. Mapping a library (or even a section of it), will encourage your child to walk around the look at what is physically in the space. They might have to ask questions to find out what’s behind a door, or look at an area they’ve never been in before. Discoveries can lead to all kinds of interesting things, such as new books, figuring out how a library works, and who works at the library.

What do we do next?

Once your child has discovered and labeled all of the spaces on their map, you could always get them to dream. Can they think of something interesting to put into a free area? Would they do something different if they were designing the library? How could they improve a space that they already use, such as a children’s area? All of these questions can lead to more questions, of course, but also some great brainstorming. It will force your child to see a familiar space in a new way, and maybe even get them problem solving. And once they’ve mapped the library, they can do other places, such as your home, a local museum, or even their school.

If you could re-design any space you regularly visit, what would it be?

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Trees

Artist Katie Holten loves trees. Back in 2015, she created a secret tree alphabet that she used to write “tree messages”, which later turned into a book. More recently, she partnered with the New York City Parks Department on a whole new collection of tree letters, aimed at bringing more awareness to the trees in our surroundings. They have even decided to plant trees in alphabetical order, based on her choices for the tree alphabet, so that people have a new way of interacting with their environment. No word on whether or not all of the trees will work in this area of the North American climate, but the idea is interesting enough.

Would you be more likely to stop and look at a tree in your local park if there was a piece of art attached to it?

Spring Craft Drop In

Tomorrow night, we’re having our Spring Craft Drop In! It starts at 6pm and is for all ages. We’ll be making some fun spring-inspired crafts, and there may even be a special I Spy that evening.

Parents should plan to stay with children as they might finish in 5 minutes, or want to stay the whole hour. Limited supervision will be provided.

Frivolous Friday

For our Frivolous Friday post this week, let’s talk about colouring! And not just your average adult colouring books, but something fancier, something artistic…something that will make you feel like you’ve done more than just relax. How about a collection of colouring pages that are museum quality?!

#ColorOurCollections was a special project from February of this year that featured a week-long colouring spree, put together by libraries, cultural institutions, and archives using social media as a way to bring people together. The collections of colouring pages are unique and cover a wide range of topics, from classic paintings, to floral works, to pages from medical journals. Colour your own choice, and share on social media using the hashtag, or see what other people have done in their spare time. It’s fun…and you can claim to be doing something cultural.

You can find all of the colouring pages right here. Print one off, and grab your coloured pencils. It’s time for a relaxing weekend!

Empowering Graphic Novels for Teens and Adults

If you follow A Mighty Girl on Facebook or their blog, you’ll know that this site is all about empowering girls, and the promotion of others who are doing the same. Recently, they did a great post about Graphic Novels for Teens and Adults that have strong female protagonists, that show a character facing a serious issue, and those that bring a deeper level to the story than your typical graphic novel for children.

Graphic novels are super popular with teens, and while a lot of parents and teachers tend to frown on the idea of promoting “comic” books to teens, graphic novels are much more than just stories with pictures. They usually tell one long tale, as opposed to some comics that feature many different stories under one cover, and the artwork can be amazing! Plus, if a teen is reading, it doesn’t matter if they’re pouring over the cereal box—they’re reading! Encourage them to pick up some of these books from the library, or keep the list and purchase several for their next birthday or special event.

You can find the entire article on the Mighty Girl website, along with a detailed list of great graphic novels like the ones featured above. Get your teen interested…and empowered!

Bloom

We’ve all been commenting on how lovely this book is right now in the dead of winter. BLOOM, written by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by the amazing Julie Morstad, is the story of fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, from her days as a little girl in Rome to her incredible and original work in the fashion industry, designing clothes that were as unique as her.

Recently, BLOOM illustrator Julie Morstad was awarded the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award for her work on this beautiful picture book, and its obvious why. This book is part of Forest of Reading, and while we have several copies available for our readers, we can’t seem to keep this one on the desk for long. It’s the perfect antidote to these grey days.

You can read more about Morstad and the award right here on the CBC Books website.

Get Crafty!

We have a monthly Adult Craft Club at the library, and wow….they make some fantastic art!

This month, the group got together and learned how to make stained glass art using special markers and paint. The end results were fantastic! Sometimes it’s hard for adults to let go and be creative—-we’ve been instilled with a fear of making things that aren’t ‘perfect’, but Caroline is great at getting the group to just create.

The Adult Craft Club meets the 4th Monday of every month (except for this month because of a schedule change), and it is a good idea to call ahead and register. Caroline needs to know how many supplies to have on hand for everyone. So, if you want to give it a try next month, give us a call at the library at 257-2702 ASAP.  Next month is going to be a hoot!