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Aldrich Public Library’s 100th Birthday Celebration

Yesterday I spent the afternoon in Barre, VT at the Aldrich Public Library’s 100th birthday celebration. I was originally called to set up a display of my work and to demonstrate the bookbinding process. While this seemed appropriate for a library, it also sounded not-so-fun. I asked if it might be more fun for party guests if I did a free hands-on activity for kids – my offer was quickly accepted.

Display of handmade books at Aldrich Public Library

I arrived early with more than enough time to get set up. I used half of the table to display my work and the other half for the activity.

If I had to do it over again, I would have left my work at home. I didn’t sell anything and it didn’t matter. What upset me was not having enough room for all the kids that came over.

Kids making books at Aldrich Public Library

The table stayed neat for about 2 minutes once the doors opened. I had a steady stream of kids throughout the day – almost all of them girls (and they were so cute!). As you can see, my pictures are a bit blurry, but that’s what the day was like. It seems you can’t go wrong when you have stickers on hand.

Kids making books at Aldrich Public Library

The creative process of children amazes me. They create with such enthusiasm and freedom from self-doubt and criticism – I wish I could do that. It’s all about having fun, not “Does this look good?” They made the most interesting choices – ones I most likely would never have made. It was inspiring.

The staff told that my workshop was a hit, although I’m sure they said that to everyone who had volunteered their time. What meant most to me was when the party was about to end and the little girl next to me at the table said, “I wish this would never end.”

Can you hear my heart melting?

Handmade book workshop at Aldrich Public Library

The satisfying aftermath

So what do you think? I'd love to know!

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