With the coronavirus pandemic canceling most in-person events, the libraries are figuring out ways to share the joy of the arts with patrons.
“Folks really enjoy the act of creation and sharing those creations,” said Erin Haight, a technology programs specialist at the Lab at the North Spokane Library. “We’re trying to maintain that communal activity.”
Upcoming virtual sessions from the Spokane County Library District include making a bookmark with the library’s resident artist and a Lego storytime. Activities at the Spokane Public Library include monthly paint nights and a Daniel Tiger watch party with snowflake craft.
For some of the library events, patrons can check out the materials for the craft or art project. For others, participants must supply their own.
One benefit of the pandemic is that virtual classes offer a low-risk way to try new things, said Angela Richardson, who hosts the paint nights. She’s the customer experience manager at the Indian Trail Library.
“This is the perfect way to do it. You don’t have to go anywhere,” she said. “Just give it a try if you’re looking for something new.”
Here’s a look at some of the upcoming events:
Building With Books: A Lego Storytime – For this weekly program, librarian Molly Moore reads a story, then brainstorms with kids about what kind of thing they could build based on the story.
Last week was the first for the program. “It was a lot of fun,” Moore said. “The kids really loved the chance to talk about their creations.”
This week’s story will be “A Royal Ride: Catherine the Great’s Great Invention” by Kristen Fulton, a nonfiction book about the invention of the roller coaster. The library doesn’t provide Legos, but kids can instead use blocks, paper, markers or other materials to create, Moore said.
Lego storytimes are at 4 p.m. Tuesdays through February.
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: “Snowflake Day” Watch Party – Watch the episode, then make snowflakes together. It’s geared to kids ages 5 and younger with their adults, and participants will need to have their own paper and scissors.
The party is 4 p.m. Wednesday, registration closes Tuesday.
The library hosts multiple events each month for preschool- and elementary-age children. Others in January with an art component include Cat Kid Comic Club on Jan. 27 and a Lorax Party on Jan. 28.
Friday Night Paint – Let’s Go on Vacation! – Teens and adults can follow along with Richardson as she uses watercolors to create a painting. This month’s will be of a pink sand beach. Participants can check out supply kits from the library that include everything needed for the project.
“At the right time, we all get together on Zoom, and I walk people through the supplies and the project,” Richardson said.
“I’m explaining exactly what I’m doing and why I’m doing it,” while she’s painting on camera, she said. “It’s been a lot of fun.”
Paint nights are at 7 p.m. on the third Friday of the month.
Resident Artist: TextSTYLE – Spokane County Library District resident artist Hayward Cheesebourough will teach participants how to make their own bookmark from fabric. Cheesebourough is a self-taught clothing designer and founder of Infinity Regalia. He said he started designing by making scarves, and to him a bookmark is just a smaller version of that.
“I’m still learning myself as I go, but that’s part of the fun of it for me,” he said.
Along with creating the bookmarks, he and participants will talk about the nuances of words, especially the connections with words about sewing, like textile.
Patrons ages 12 and older can sign up for materials to be picked up at the North Spokane Library. And for people who can’t go to the class on Saturday, a video will be posted so you can create anytime using materials from home.
The bookmark craft will be at noon Saturday . Cheesebourough will lead a class on sewing face masks at 2 p.m. Jan. 24.
To register: For Spokane Public Library events, visit spokanelibrary.org and click on the “Classes & Events” tab. For Spokane County Library District events, visit scld.org and click on the “Events” tab.