January is International Creativity Month

The photograph depicts a tray of colorful watercolors next to two paintbrushes and a pile of painted papers, against a background of golden twinkle lights.

by Jean B.

Are you ready to stir up your creative juices, push your comfort zone, and generate some innovation in your life?   

Experts agree: creativity is in all of us. It’s something you can boost and develop at any age. The ways we encourage creativity in children — with open-ended exploration, unstructured time, stories and story-telling, and playful experiences — are strategies available to all of us.   

But where to begin? It may feel risky to commit to an unfamiliar activity and expensive to invest in all the necessary equipment and supplies. Don’t worry – just look to your library! Not only are our buildings filled with books about everything under the sun (including how to be creative), but HCLS also offers instructors, speakers, experiences, tools, facilities, and spaces that alleviate the cost of trying something new.  

You might start by changing your environment. Make your imagination soar by putting a Picasso on your wall or streaming music you’ve never heard before. At our Central and Glenwood branches, you can borrow new, inspiring art every six weeks, then attend art classes at the Elkridge DIY center to create a personal masterpiece. Borrow a ukulele, then join a jam session of the Savage Ukes or use a recording booth at Glenwood to stretch those creative muscles even further. Once you are inspired by the masters, you may find it easier to produce something yourself. 

If your imagination produces more than your home equipment can support, come to HCLS for maker tools and machinery. At Elkridge Branch’s DIY Center you might borrow a sewing and embroidery machine and create beautiful textiles. At Glenwood Branch’s Makerspace, access a 3D printer and laser cutter engraver, or just play around with building toys like LEGOS, K’nex, and planks. If you get inspiration from sharing with others, you can join fellow makers at a Pins and Needle Arts class at Central Branch or Miller Branch, where conversation fuels creativity and learning. 

Young creators can get inspired at the library, too! Borrow some puppets from the HCLS toy collection to retell familiar stories and produce original tales. Visit the Glenwood Branch Builders Barn, where children enter a material-rich space to explore, discover, and create. Check out the children’s and teen’s class schedules to find art, engineering, music, and technology offerings to feed every kind of passion.

Happy Creative New Year! 

Papermaking Lab! 
Monday, January 9, 6 – 7:30 pm          
HCLS Miller Branch
Ages 11-18.
DECLUTTER then CREATE! Shred, blend, and mix to transform those old notebooks and paper into beautiful new papers! (We’ll have recycled paper, too). Experiment by adding seeds for plantable paper or denim scrap. Come back during the Wednesday Wellness class (drop-in, no registration required) on Wednesday, January 11 from 4 – 5 pm to turn your paper into a gratitude journal.

Registration suggested, drop-ins allowed if space permits. Register here.

Get to “Snow” the Laser Cutter Engraver 
Wednesday, January 11, 6 – 8 pm
HCLS Glenwood Branch
Step up your craftiness with the Makerspace! Using the laser cutter engraver, create custom snowflakes. Learn the basics of Adobe Illustrator, then send your project to be cut. Absolute beginners welcome; all materials supplied.

Ages 11 and up welcome; any participant under 18 years of age must have a parent/guardian present. Register here.

Artapalooza! 
Wednesday, January 18, 2 – 4 pm  
HCLS Miller Branch
Ages 11-18.
Spend your early dismissal day creating! Let your creativity soar in an open studio art space. We provide the supplies, you bring the imagination.

Registration preferred, drop-ins allowed if space permits. Register here (registration opens Monday, January 11 at 2 pm).

Goal Setting With Vision Boards 
Wednesday, January 18, 1 – 3 pm  
HCLS Savage Branch
Ages 11-18.
Start 2023 off right with some personal goal setting. We discuss and share different areas we’d like to improve in as well as areas that we are doing well in, then create vision boards. 

Drop-in.

Ingenious Inventions! 
Wednesday, January 25, 7 – 7:45 pm 
HCLS Miller Branch
Ages 6-10.
Don’t let history be a mystery – learn about some inventions. Includes stories, activities, and a craft. 

Ticket required. Tickets available at the children’s desk 15 minutes before class.

Slime Cafe
Monday, January 23, 3:30 – 4:15 pm
HCLS Central Branch
Ages 6-10.
Read a yucky story and learn how to combine different ingredients with a basic slime recipe to create your own unique slimes. Materials provided (unscented shampoo, corn starch, and food coloring). Dress for mess. 

Registration required.  Register here (registration opens Monday, January 16 at 3:30 pm).

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