Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Makers by Example

Currently there is much discussion in the library world about libraries as maker spaces. Though 3-D printers and electronics are often cited as part of the maker movement, it also includes crafts. Libraries are including sewing machines and button makers in their maker spaces. The focus is on giving library users the resources to create.

Youth services librarians have always encouraged creativity. Sometimes it is as simple as a storytime craft or having blocks available. Craft programs for older children are staples of youth services programming.

When the maker movement spread to libraries, youth services librarians were quick to point out that they were already offering such opportunities. What is not as obvious, is the fact that much of what we do to present an engaging storytime also involves making. Felt board figures, finger puppets and props are often made by the storytelling staff. Special activities are created to promote early literacy skills. Some are part of storytime and some are part of free play in the children's area.

Much thought has gone into these activities and their relation to early literacy skills. Parents are given early literacy tips during storytime. In addition we should point out that what we make for storytime can be simplified and duplicated at home. Many librarians do point this out to parents but I'm not sure it is done on a regular basis. We are not just providing information but are showing parents how it can be applied.

When I first started doing preschool storytime, I often would hand out a paper with a storytime rhyme and easy to make finger puppets on it. One of my favorite storytime crafts is to make paper bag puppets or stick puppets so that the children can reenact the stories they had just heard (or make up completely new ones). Again we are showing parents a simple way to develop narrative skills.

Children's librarians are creative folk. We are makers in many ways. Just look at Flannel Friday's Pinterest boards for examples. We are used to sharing our ideas with other librarians but don't forget to share those great ideas with parents as well!

Basic Librarian Maker Tools

No comments:

Post a Comment