We have all faced our own challenges during the past few weeks with social distancing becoming the "new norm."
I have been very proud of my fellow librarians who have embraced the challenge of finding innovative ways to bring library services to your home and connect with the library community.
We miss those "in-house" moments—seeing our regular guests and the community connecting with each other, too. The library building might be temporarily closed, but we are still here to help you and your family access reading materials and so much more during this isolating time. We also provide a virtual place for you to still interact with us and other library users.
I know my family is getting tired of our usual indoor screen-time routines and the repetitive news cycles. Some days, we just need a break to unplug and challenge our brains in different and creative ways.
There's something about the creative process that is so gratifying to our minds and stress levels. I love Good Housekeeping's article on why crafting is so beneficial during this time.
Don't forget about other creative outlets, like cooking, dancing with family, musical composing, writing, organizing, or photography. We would love to hear about your creative outlet during this time, or if there's something you have always wanted to try.
Use this sheltering in place time as an opportunity to challenge yourself and learn something new. It will be a double challenge, because we have limited resources in our homes and can't drive to the craft store.
Willard invites you to you to connect with each other and maybe even inspire other library users by posting responses to weekly creative challenges. Each Wednesday, we will post an open-ended creative challenge for you to explore. In this stressful and isolating time, get involved with the community and showcase your creativity.
We're kicking off this adventure with four haiku-writing challenges because April is National Poetry Month. This week, we challenge you to write and share a haiku about the first bird you see in your yard. The weekly challenge will be posted on Willard's Facebook page each Wednesday and the best haikus will be shared on Willard's Facebook and Instagram accounts the next Tuesday.
If you are interested in diving a little deeper into the creative world—these websites focus on teaching new crafting skills and techniques:
Creativebug offers a free two-month trial, and presents daily classes on several topics and plenty of inspirational ideas.
Skillshare also has a free two-month trial, and some tutorials are always free. The topics are really broad—from photography to health and wellness to business tips.
Bluprint has a variety of free tutorials on fiber craft, food, and art for a limited time.
Cori George's "Hey, Let's Make Stuff" website is filled with great crafting and DIY ideas. The free downloads she sends out are always a gem to find in my inbox. Her printable quarantine cards will provide you with some comic relief. She also loves her Cricut machine—so you can craft beside her if you happen to have one.
The United Kingdom website DO THINK SHARE has free mini-creative challenges. They encourage participants to reflect on their projects and post pictures to connect with other people.
Each Wednesday check out Willard's Facebook challenge, share your work, and watch for the best ones on Tuesday.
Jenny is reading ALL of the children's "Frozen" picture books in her house—over and over and over and over again—such are the joys of having a toddler.