Creativebug daily practices provide an opportunity to build community in the virtual environment. The library programs are sustained through a month-long period, which allows participants to develop skills and creative habits while connecting them with resources and a larger community.
When selecting a daily practice, I look at the material lists of each class I’m considering. The fewer materials, the better. I provide suggestions on how to participate with what participants may have on hand or what they can get more easily. It is stressed that the materials are “recommended” so our library users don’t feel they can’t participate if they don’t have the exact supplies. With these factors in mind, REPLAY: Daily Drawing Challenge with Lisa Congdon is a great place to start.
The materials list:
- 9” x 12″ Strathmore drawing paper
- Micron pens (05, 1.0)
- Pigma Professional Brush Pen MB by Sakura
To help people feel connected and to create a sense of accountability, I prepare a newsletter each business day of the month that includes a link to the day’s activity with some summary and a heads-up of the supplies needed. This also allows for opportunities to connect the participants with other library resources and services such as our computer lab trainers, upcoming programs, and related print materials and electronic resources in the library’s collection. Finally, I encourage them to share their progress on Instagram using #createdbySLCL and tagging the library and Creativebug, too, to see how the library community is working through the program.
There is one synchronous component–a kickoff webinar held over Zoom where I provide an overview of Creativebug and the current activity. I explain how to access Creativebug through the library and how to post to Instagram. Then, there’s an opportunity for questions and answers.
It can take about 17 hours to prep for this month-long daily practice.
- Watching the tutorials – 3.5 hours
- Compiling resources and a list of related upcoming events – 1 hour
- Setting up the newsletter template– 1 hour
- Creating and scheduling the newsletters – 8 hours
- Prepping kickoff presentation – 1 hour
- Presenting the webinar – 2 hours
- Developing a completion survey – .5 hour
Half of the work comes from prep and the webinar event. The other half can be spread out over the course of the month as the newsletters come together.
Due to the effort that goes into this program, we want to generate the most attention possible. The library advertises through social media channels, but the biggest impact comes from emailing patrons about the program in an eBlast. Throughout the month, I try to engage with everyone who posts to #createdbySLCL to encourage the participants and keep up interest.
I present the webinar on the first of the month or a few days before if the first falls on a weekend. The eNewsletters are sent on weekdays (Fridays contain the weekend’s prompts). Once the month begins, I feel the benefits of the self-paced aspects of the practice as the bulk of my efforts are completed.
At the end of the month, I send out a survey to gauge how participants interacted with the practice and what other classes they might be interested in. Once a year, I also survey new daily practice participants to gather information about how they use Creativebug, how the practice influenced their library materials borrowing habits, and how it impacted their digital skills. The responses indicate that the daily practices introduce library users to Creativebug, increase how much patrons borrow materials, and help library users feel more comfortable with using computers by accessing the database every day.
Over the past two years, I have facilitated 13 month-long Creativebug programs and two more will be completed by the end of the year. These are my favorite programs to offer and lead–seeing participants make connections and build their skills is public programming at its best!
This formula works well with daily practice classes. Some other classes that would work with this formula are…
- Crochet Sampler: A Daily Practice
- REPLAY: Daily Drawing Challenge with Lisa Congdon
- Make Art Where You Are: A Daily Practice
- Daily Lettering Challenge: 31 Creative Lettering Ideas with Pam Garrison
- Daily Embroidery Challenge: Stitch-a-Day Sampler
- Daily Drawing Challenge: 31 Things to Draw with Pam Garrison
- Daily Painting Challenge: 31 Flowers to Paint with Yao Cheng
- Words Inform Images: 31 Prompts Using Writing as Inspiration for Art
- Gratitude Art Journal: A Daily Practice
- Story Quilt Top: A Daily Practice in Hand Stitching
- Daily Observations: Drawing Objects from Life
- Daily Painting Challenge: 31 Painted Patterns with Lisa Congdon