Homebrew 101 a success!

Homebrew 101 flyer

Homebrew 101 flyer

Having wanted to do a homebrew class at a library for years, I finally got it done. I think it’s important to include programs that introduce lifelong learning at any age and on any topic (that is legal and ethical of course). Compared to typical educational programs for adults, a homebrewing program has a better shot at re-introducing the library into the lives of those 20-40-somethings who don’t have a relationship with us.

Thanks to NJ Beer Co’s Dennis Maciupa (their Brewer’s Apprentice) and Paul Silverman, and a colleague who came in on a day off in support of beer, the program had patrons engaged and entertained. It didn’t take too much work and the greatest expense was the $150 social affair permit.

We had 27 people attend. I made it registration required so that we could keep it more intimate; but registration is new for adult programs at the library and this isn’t the first time that more people just showed up. I had to turn them away as well as field phone calls all morning explaining that we were full.

Cheers to having another program this fall/winter!

Groups @ your library

It has long been a goal of mine to develop groups within the library. I don’t just mean book clubs or intellectual groups either. With meetup.com being one way for folks with common interests to meet each other, who says that has to be the only platform?

I see these groups serving two purposes: 1. to bring people into the library by providing space and assistance for programming related to their interest; and 2. to send out a visible representation of the library into town. It would be a way for the library to directly integrate itself into the community by fostering education on topics–such as theater, photography, food or Fantasy sports–as well as encouraging the groups to get out of the building and do something as a library entity.

I’ve been lucky to come into a library with a thriving Write Group. This group has various weekly meetings and all types of monthly events. They also don’t restrict themselves to the library building, but go out into our community to be a “support group” for other writers. They’ve been successful for years and I speak with their leadership often. It’s a perfect example of what I’ve been looking to do.

The main obstacle to starting a group like this is time (isn’t it always?). Having the capacity to oversee a mini-organization isn’t organic. However, once a pattern of group creation and recruitment is developed, I see the potential for each group to be self-run things; provided they still report back to the library, there is no reason not to allow the groups to elect their own leaders and have the freedom to evolve as they want and need. Thankfully, the Write Group has a lot to teach me and will be a great resource as I develop plans and explore the interests of the town.


Free software for all you Makerspacers

pixar-renderman-19-free-590x330Check out this article. It appears that Pixar has a version of its software that can be downloaded for free. It’s an industrial grade app, but if your computers are capable of running it, register and get it for your Makerspace.

It’s a great way to introduce teens to animation creation. Fun fun. I wonder if I can figure out a way to use it for adult programming?