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?

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!


Teen Poetry Show!

The Carleton Place Public Library Teen Advisory Group has dreamed up a fun event for the March Break for teens. We’re having a poetry slam night!

Applications for this event are available now at the library. Drop by if you love to perform your poetry, or if you’d like us to display it only. It’s going to be a fun night to spend with your friends, and hear some great performances!

Make sure to get your application in before February 28, and we’ll contact you about taking part. Ages 12 and up only.

The Sky

Photo by Jason Blackeye on UnsplashWhat do you see when you look up? We are all shaped by our experiences, our creativity, our insight, and well, even our vision. This summer, we’re asking “What’s Your Thing?”, so I thought this would be a fun post to share, based on the idea that we all see and appreciate things in our own way.

One Sky is a collaborative project with almost 90 artists who were asked to look up at the sky at precisely 12:00pm EST on August 13, 2017, and then “draw” what they see. The artists came from all over the world, so weather, time zones and even whether it was day or night, came into play. They used their own artistic styles and contributed their view to the project.

Some of the sky views were beautiful–cloudless, blue, sunshine-filled. Others were overcast, dramatic, and eventful. You can see all of the sky interpretations by clicking on this link.

But it makes for an interesting idea. If the kids are feeling bored one day, have them look up at the sky and draw what they see, and then compare. It could be a great discussion piece about clouds, about how everyone sees things differently, and even about colour. Give it a try!

Dream Big!

We offer young writers programs at the library from time to time, and the one thing we hear quite often is how a young person wants to be a writer when they grow up. It’s wonderful…the excitement a young person gets from reading books turns into a desire to write stories for other people to enjoy.

I came across this fun post on the CBC Kids website that offers up a great list of things a young writer can do to turn that dream into a reality some day. Take a few minutes to read through….especially if you have someone at home that could use some encouragement!

Feeling Less Than Creative?

Starting this week, we’re taking registrations for our “Find Your Creative Self” program–a six-week session meant to help adults who are feeling less that creative. We meet for two hours a week and work through things that might be holding you back, as well as doing a variety of creative activities, and a few bits of homework to keep you inspired throughout the week.

Using the books THE ARTIST’S WAY by Julia Cameron, BIG MAGIC by Elizabeth Gilbert, and many other great creativity tomes, we’ll delve into the root of that dry spell. This isn’t like our adult craft nights—instead, it’s more like a therapy session, but we promise, it’ll be a LOT of fun, too!

Registration is a must, and this program will fill up fast. Call us to register at 257-2702, or drop by the library to sign up. It’s going to be a very educational spring!

White Space

In our early writer’s group workshops, we talk a lot about “white space”. What exactly is white space? When you step back and look at a page, is it jam-packed with text? Are there any breaks at all on the page, through dialog or short paragraphs? If not, we have to work on fixing that.

White space is necessary for a number of reasons. It’s easier for readers to actually read pages that have white space. If not, they might not continue with a book. White space helps control the flow of a piece of writing, too. Imagine long, wordy paragraphs of description. Sometimes, that’s tough slogging when you’re reading. It also probably means you need more dialog or shorter thoughts when writing. Break it up, mix it up…it all makes for easier reading, and a better flow.

So…let me ask you. Do you have enough white space in your LIFE?

I came across a blog post recently that talked about this very question. White space in real life equates to time you have to think, to do things outside of your work and your obligations. It allows us to stop and see the beauty of things, to create, to imagine, and to be more than our schedule. Brilliant, isn’t it?

If you had to write down every item of your day into a list, and then label everything that was white space, would you have a thick, black day….or would you actually see some space in there? Maybe the act of just looking at it with squinty eyes might allow you to make some changes. Put a little coffee break in here. Schedule in a nap over there. Take a walk with the dog. Do some yoga.

Put some white space in your life. It might make a big difference in how you feel.