Prior to COVID, one of the more popular in-person activities at the four locations in the Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library system was the “Make and Take” program where library staff would provide materials, directions, and space for patrons to create a take-home craft project, often on a theme that aligned with an area of literary emphasis that week. Once in-person activities were no longer possible due to the pandemic, the library re-imagined this program and decided to flip the approach (and the name) to “Take and Makes”, pulling together individualized kits with all the materials an instructions users would need to get their creative juices flowing for the week. To align with the library’s ethic of sustainability and to stretch their budget, the kits always prioritize using materials that would otherwise wind up in the landfill. This is made possible through a partnership with the New River Creative Reuse Center, which provides the library with free arts and crafts materials like jars, sewing spools, bottle caps, wine corks and the like.
The program has two tracks – simpler projects for children, and more complex and challenging craft projects for adults. Both are extremely popular and Monena Hall, the Blacksburg Library Branch Director, loves seeing pictures of completed projects that patrons share with her and her staff. Between the children’s and adult kits, Ms. Hall estimates that they distribute about 100 kits a week. When possible, the library’s staff also like to pair the subject of the week’s Take and Make Kit for children with a virtual storytime hour, offering children a more immersive experience for that week’s theme.
Based on the popularity of the Take and Make Kits, the library plans to use a hybrid approach after the pandemic – offering Make and Take craft workshops in-person at the library, and Take and Make kits for families and individuals who have come to enjoy that approach. If you would like to support the Montgomery Floyd Regional Library system with this and its other slate of wonderful programs, please visit the Friends of the Library website for more information.