Archive | November, 2012

Why Hold Craft Programs at the Library?

28 Nov

By Ann Lattinville

In mid-November, 10 children came out to the Library on a windy stormy, day and made their way down to the program room.  There they found strips of construction paper about 1/4 inch wide, toothpicks, and white crafting glue.  With a little bit of instruction from two creative staff members, these children went home with beautifully crafted artwork. What was the skill they learned? Quilling.  Quilling is a centuries old art form where paper is curled and placed on edge to form filigree designs. The best part about our adapted version of this technique is that the children are likely to have the materials at home, or would have easy access to purchase them.

We undertook the program for less than $2.00 worth of glue and paper we had on hand.  One child asked if we could have a “Quilling Club” from here on out– that speaks volumes, doesn’t it?

So why hold a program like this at a library? In addition to being low-cost, these programs emphasize use of the library to explore new skills and knowledge in a hands-on manner. We provide context for each activity’s origins and history while we work on the projects. These programs also foster literacy skills, chiefly the ability to follow directions, express creativity, and expand a knowledge base. For younger patrons who may find reading daunting, knowing that there’s a place for them at  a library even if they don’t consider themselves “readers” is an important offering.

The success of this program led us to plan our December origami program, which will also feature a low-cost implementation by using recycled books. Children will learn about the origins of origami while working on a project to take home.

What are QR Codes?

14 Nov

By Peter Struzziero

 

Have you seen these weird black and white boxes popping up all over the place? They are seriously everywhere. They show up in electronic stores, in advertisements for real estate…. on Ketchup Bottles…. Just Everywhere. Have you got an Iphone, a Droid, or another 3g or 4g Mobile device? If you can download an “App” then you can use a QR Code-reader, and see what everyone else is talking about.

QR Code (abbreviated from Quick Response Code) is the trademark for a type of matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) first designed for the automotive industry. More recently, the system has become popular outside the industry due to its fast readability and large storage capacity compared to standard UPC barcodes. The code consists of black modules (square dots) arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can be made up of four standardized kinds (“modes”) of data (numeric, alphanumeric, byte/binary, Kanji), or through supported extensions, virtually any kind of data.

So what does any of that mean? It’s like the old school standard barcode, that only read numbers or would punch up a record in a retail setting. Well like I mentioned earlier… they are popping up EVERYPLACE now.

Including… YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY =)

Libraries across the country are creating QR Codes to do lots of things. Some Libraries put them on DVD cases, sending patrons to online movie trailers they can watch on there phones. Other places are using QR Codes on books in the stacks, to direct patrons to similar online book collections.

Keep your eyes peeled around the building for codes like these popping up. They will lead you back to places like:

  • New Books
  • The Library Catalog
  • Social Media Accounts, like Facebook and Twitter
  • And… much much more to come.

The groundwork has been laid by many other Libraries, and we’ve already begun to get involved.