Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Origami Hour

When it comes to summer programming, I like to try to strike a balance between featured performers, exciting standalone programs, special events (like after-hours forts or a movie matinee), and chill, laid-back options. Funnily enough, it's the chill, laid-back programs that tend to require the most thought on my part--I want to choose a topic that will be interesting enough to get people into the library, but that's also something they can generally do on their own with supervision from me. For June, I settled on an origami program. Here's what we did:

Origami Hour

Supplies:
  • origami paper
  • printer paper in different colors
  • all the origami books in the branch (736.982)
  • print-outs of a few easy origami creations, which I got from origami-fun.com
  • plenty of table space
  • scissors, tape, and crayons (I realize that traditional origami doesn't use these tools, but who am I to stifle creative juices when they start flowing?)

Setup:
     I did not require registration for this program, so I only had a rough estimate of how many people would show up. I opened the doors right on the top of the hour, and a steady stream of kids came in. I shared some basic information--what is origami; I asked who had ever done origami--before explaining that the print-outs and books were there for instruction, and that kids could create as much of whatever they wanted. I emphasized that I would be circulating around the room to see if anyone needed assistance, and then I let kids go to it.
     As I talked to the 40-ish attendees, I found out that about two-thirds had see the program on our events calendar and come to the library specifically for origami. The other third were already in the library for other reasons when the program began, so they came to check it out. That's the exact type of scenario I want to promote for library programs, especially the chill ones: everyone can come and enjoy an activity regardless of whether it was on their daily schedule or not. Kids eager to slightly detour their library activities to take in a low-key program signals successful implementation.

The Creations:
     I told attendees that they were welcome to take home anything they created, but if they wanted to leave anything at the library, I would display them in the display cases we usually reserve for our Lego Club creations. By the end of the program, I had a basket full of origami creations to display--creations that really ran the gamut from traditional (swans) to timely (Origami Yoda & Darth Paper). Take a look for yourself to see some of the excellent origami work.





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