Much of what we do here at the Library is about connecting people with practical resources that will aid in improving their lives. We have resources to help you open a small business. And if you’re ever in search for a job, the Library is one of the best places to go.
But a lot of what the Library does involves creating opportunities to have fun. Libraries don’t always have to be serious places of quiet study. And the stereotypical librarian wearing glasses and a cardigan shushing you is pretty much extinct. (OK, the shushing is gone, but the glasses and cardigans are probably here to stay forever).
Basically, as our attention is constantly being fought over and distraction is becoming an addiction, the Library is an increasingly important social infrastructure asset to help us kick back, relax, and be idle. And while some of that can be achieved with reading for pleasure, the Library also offers a diverse slate of programs to help people of all ages have a little fun.
So if you’re looking for an opportunity to do something enjoyable this Winter and Spring, here are some Library programs that are worth checking out in 2019:
Kids color all the time, but then we grow up and suddenly it’s not cool to color? I don’t care how old you are, a 64-box of crayons is the holy grail of art supplies. Adults should color more! There is even some medical evidence that indicates coloring is relaxing. The most important thing is that there’s no pressure – just show up, color and have a good time.
Spending time on almost any leisure activity has health benefits and the same appears to be true for knitting. This two-part workshop happening at the Maumee Branch is the perfect place to get primed on some basic stitches. And once you’re proficient, you can start tackling projects in one of the many knitting books the Library offers. Plus, your new skill will come in handy when the January credit card statement rolls in and you decide you’re just going to make holiday gifts next year.
The Books on Tap discussion groups the Library offers are a blast. They’re the perfect book club for anybody 21 and over who is looking to talk books in a laid back atmosphere outside the Library. Parents, this is the perfect opportunity to get out of the house for some “adult time.” And there are multiple options for dates and locations (ideal for those with crazy work schedules), with groups meeting at notable Toledo-area bars and breweries The Attic on Adams, Earnest Brew Works, and Inside the Five.
Oregon Branch Library
Jan. 17 (and other dates through May) | 4 – 5 p.m.
A teenage library customer I know had a very insightful comment on playing the ukulele: “It’s like a thing right now.” And she’s right! All the cool kids are playing the ukulele. Not only is it an instrument with an interesting and rich history, but as a novice uke player myself, I can also say that it’s fun to play. Either bring your own or use a uke provided by the Library over to the Oregon Branch this Winter and Spring!
Another craze sweeping the nation is escape rooms. You get “locked” in a room and have to find your way out through a series of puzzles, clues, and cryptic phrases and images. The best analogy I can make for it is that it’s like a real life cooperative video game. You’ll use creative thinking and teamwork to “escape.” But, even if you don’t master the room and achieve escape master glory, you’re still almost guaranteed to meet some cool people and have a great time with them.
Want to know something pretty gross about the clothes we wear? Most modern clothing contains some sort of polyester-based material, which in turn is essentially plastic. And one of the reasons clothes don’t last very long is that those plastics slowly break down over time, wanting to return to their original gas or liquid states. Thus, the Library presents TRASHion Show, a program where teens can upcycle materials by turning them into wearable works of fashion. These “clothes” might not be hitting the runway soon, but there is certainly a movement toward sustainable clothing going on at the moment, creating the perfect mix of fun aimed at making a better future.
Pssst! Parents, I’ll let you in on a little secret: even though the point of this blog post is to have fun for fun’s sake, if you’re looking for something for your kids to do on a day off from school, the Library has a solution called “No School! No Problem?” These are STEAM based programs designed to stop boredom in its tracks. Fun and educational, this is a great way for students to stay engaged and still take advantage of their day off.
One of my favorite childhood memories is being tucked in at bedtime and my mom reading a book to me. And even though she would often steer me away from requesting “Fox in Socks” (my favorite) in order to avoid the tongue twisters, I’ll still always cherish that bonding time that helped establish a lifelong love of reading. But one thing that was missing from my bedtime story was cookies. Problem solved thanks to Cookies & Milk Storytime at the Kent branch! The kids will get a story, cookies, and a glass of milk right before heading home for bed. Their tummies will be full of chocolate chip goodness and their imaginations will be sparked as they head off to slumber. Win-win.
Toledo Heights Branch Library
March 28 | 4 – 5 p.m.