PROFESSIONAL READING

The Creative Edge: Inspiring Art Explorations in Libraries and Beyond

Teacher Ideas/Libraries Unlimited/. Apr. 2019. 177p. bibliog. index. photos. pap. $45. ISBN 9781440861093.
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While many libraries offer craft programs or art therapy services, this book dives deeper, challenging them to provide more multifaceted creativity programming for patrons of all ages. Far too often, parents (and even programmers) tell children how a finished project should look, but Fletcher stresses that patrons should have the freedom to be playful and carefree and to take chances and make mistakes. She draws from her work launching a program called the Creative Edge at the Avon Free Public Library in Connecticut, which led to the institution being designated one of the first art studios in a U.S. public library. The author’s suggested projects are simple, high in quality, low in cost, and open-ended, making them accessible to most communities. Fletcher lists basic supplies and materials and budgeting tips. There aren’t many photos and there are a limited number of actual art projects featured, but the goal here is to foster a creative mind-set, take risks, and provide guidance without leading the way. This somewhat academic but clear book sheds light on this difficult concept.
VERDICT A great addition to children’s services courses in library school, as well as for staffers looking to rethink programming and what it means to be creative

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