“Helping Hands: Upcycling with Dual Purposes” is an arts and crafts program at the Miami-Dade Public Library System’s (MDPLS) Country Walk Branch Library. This program works to meet the needs of two communities — older adults and homeless populations — at the same time. Patrons socialize at the library while they make sleeping mats from […]
Ellen Book Author Archive
After three decades as a librarian, I’ve learned that the unexpected is to be expected during most library programs. Like libraries across the country, the Miami-Dade Public Library System caters to all ages. Any topic can be a potential program. Success can be anything from impacting a few grateful ESOL students at a Conversation Circle to a full-on children’s festival for thousands. However, our best intentions about a dream program can emerge into a difficult to predict reality. Thus, my staff has learned “on the fly” to be flexible for whatever comes. Here are a few examples:
The simplicity behind gathering to talk about a shared story softens feelings of self-doubt. The book and its storyline are the vehicle allowing club members to listen, and be listened to. It is meant to expose feelings through difficult ideas and opposing viewpoints. While talking about fictional characters, real experiences bubble up to the surface. There’s an opening to relate first to the story and then to each other. There is no better way to spread great ideas then when people meet face-to-face. A bookclub is neutral ground, which makes it subtly powerful and influential.