by Sarah Kuntz Jones, Adult Programming Coordinator, St. Louis County Library
Craft programs are always a hit with public library patrons, but coming up with fresh ideas can be challenging. As an adult programming coordinator for a busy metropolitan library system, I have found Creativebug to be an invaluable tool–between its cleanly organized classes and the public performance rights. The tutorials take the guesswork out of planning programs and free up library programmers to make connections between fun, quality projects and other library resources. Here’s my process for presenting a Creativebug quick class as a library program.
Courtney Cerruti’s DIY Yarn Banners is an accessible class to use for library crafting programs. It’s adaptable for themes, such as Pride banners or seasonal decorations, and the supply list is within reach for a library budget–requiring only wooden dowels, yarn, scissors, and optional tacky glue.
In preparation for this class, I pre-cut some of the yarn so more time can be spent creating the banners during the program. I also, print the Class Resources PDF posted in the tutorial and make enough copies for those registered. In addition, I create a resource list that includes a list of library materials for other decorative projects, a link to the Creativebug class and a survey for general feedback and insight into future offerings. This PDF is emailed to the registrants after the class.
The time investment in prepping for this class is about an hour each for the following:
- Choosing a class and testing out the project
- Pulling the books and creating the display
- Creating the resource list PDF and making copies
- Pre-cutting some yarn
Planning and preparation take about 4-5 hours in total.
In addition to the print and digital materials our communications department creates, the branch staff members create a DIY-decorating materials display, with the flyers for the program featuring prominently. The program is promoted by staff in other programs as well.
For the program, the library materials display is moved into the programming space next to the supply tables where I lay out the pre-cut yarn and the remaining skeins. The room is set classroom-style with tables and chairs, with dowels, glue, and scissors at each table.
The class is facilitated with the help of a laptop, projector, and screen. I demonstrate the steps to access Creativebug through the library’s website, to help participants remember how to do it themselves once they’re at home. From there, Courtney takes it away, and I periodically stop the tutorial to give everyone time to complete steps, check in on progress, and address any questions.
After the program, I email registrants a PDF of the resource list, including the links to the Creativebug course and the post-program survey. I also encourage participants to share their projects on Instagram with #createdbyslcl and tag @creativebug and the artist’s page to continue to build community.
Quick classes like DIY Yarn Banners are adaptable in so many ways that they can work for a library of any size and budget to engage participants of all skill levels, and they are a great way to bring the library community together to create something playful and beautiful.
This formula works for creating programming around quick classes. Some other ones that work well are…