In this time of exponentially increased levels of anxiety and stress we are all looking for ways to unwind and calm down. We do our best to work, either from home or in an essential function, care for children – both their education and entertainment, and concern about family and friends, especially those we must keep at a distance. Common wisdom is that meditation and mindfulness will focus our thoughts on the present, decreasing worry about past decisions and apprehension about the future.
Crafting can interrupt our negative thoughts to focus on the task at hand – specifically,
the craft you are undertaking. Personally, in the last two months I have crocheted thirty-four hats. I like to make hats because they are a small enough project to complete without getting bored. I have no idea what I will do with these hats, most likely I will donate them, but they tend to calm me. I have teen aged children that are requesting stuffed animals, so I may investigate Amigurumi crochet (Amigurumi is
Japanese for “knitted or crocheted stuffed toy”). Focusing on these new types of crochet patterns can potentially be relaxing.
Browsing Subjects in Libby, I found over 450 ebooks in Crafts, over 300 of them were available to borrow immediately. I found Creepy Cute Crochet by Christen Haden, Crochet One Skein Wonders by Judith Durant and Edie Eckman, Teach Yourself VISUALLY Crochet by Cicely Keim, and even Crochet Patterns for Dummies by Susan Brittain, all with Amigurumi patterns I could try.
There are many, many other crafting ebooks in Libby – on soap making, beading, duct taping, candle making, quilting, and even building cardboard habitats for cats (Cat Castles by Carin Oliver). Many of these ebooks are guides for beginners, you may already have the items needed to start something new, or things can be acquired online, both JoAnn Fabrics and Michael’s have curbside pick-up.
Another thing I have found to distract my thoughts from the past and the future, making me mindful of the present is coloring. Not children’s coloring, although if you have younger kids you could wrangle one of their books, but I doubt that would lead to tranquility.
According to Dr. Scott M. Bea, PsyD at the Cleveland Clinic, adult coloring can be calming because it focuses your attention on the task, leading to relaxing your brain; with a predictable outcome it is a low stakes activity. I have also found that pulling out the coloring books and colored pencils attracts my teens, one or both may pull up a chair and the shared activity allows us to talk – looking down rather than making eye contact seems to encourage a release of feelings. An inexpensive meditative diversion, a Google search for “coloring pages for adults “resulted a whole bunch of free pages.
Whatever you do to distract and relax your mind can be helpful. Try searching and browsing the available ebooks on crafts in Libby or Overdrive and Hoopla for ideas for starting something new or expanding on your current interests.
by DD in the Reference Department
Both Hoopla and Overdrive are offering the first book in the Harry Potter series for reading, no waiting.
By Lance Hickerson, Reference Department
Originally published December 26, 2014
Holidays afford us time to relax, enjoy shows, catch up with friends, and share some of our favorite cuisine with special folks in our life. Funny thing, after those times of good cheer and catching up, one common post-festivity urge reported is the desire to stop into the library to simply browse around. Unfortunately, for many of these holiday moments, the library is officially closed. But please know, the back door is open. By this we mean the cyber door to all the library’s electronic offerings. Even on those “closed” holidays, the library still has some wonderful things available.
Here are just a few suggestions…
Simply access the library’s main page and explore the WCPLS eLibrary:
- Check out ebooks and audiobooks with READS!
- Watch a movie via Hoopla.
- Browse online magazines with Flipster
- Explore Career Transitions if you’re thinking about new career opportunities.
- Learn a new word a day with Oxford Reference Online.
- Take a virtual tour of great artists.
And there is a lot of online fun for children as well:
Online Fun Suggestions!
- Enjoy a digital story time.
- Borrow an ebook via READS for Kids. Use the cute interface for young readers that lets them borrow chapter books and more.
- Explore new subjects in Kids Infobits with articles and reference books for young people.
- Play games and more in TEL4U.
- Learning can be fun for young ones with World Book Online. Try the Early World of Learning or one of the boxes labeled ‘Kids’.
So just remember, even though we are closed, the back (cyber) door is always open.
By Erin Holt, Teen Librarian
Libraries have become so much more than just books in the last few years — many are morphing into community centers, providing resume assistance, career centers, makerspaces, and learning labs in addition to the physical book collection. And online collections including eBooks and eAudiobooks are all the rage (we love our OverDrive READS that’s for sure!) allowing patrons to access materials right from their tablet or smartphone. This is HUGE this day and age with everyone being on the go! Waiting in the checkout line at the grocery store, browse your OverDrive app and download a book and begin reading instantly! It’s genius and a service that we’re proud to offer it to our patrons!
In fact, OverDrive is so popular that they have recently made some updates to their app to make things go a bit smoother for everyone! Check out the updates here
But we also wanted to highlight that our Library values books, and our librarians go to great lengths to constantly keep our physical collection of books, DVDs, and magazines up to date. In addition to all of that however, our director, Dolores Greenwald, hosts a monthly television show ‘Not Just Books‘ that airs on YouTube. The show focuses on what other services we provide both IN the library and outside the library! Wondering what the Friends of the Library are up to? How we’re celebrating the Sesquicentennial (hint: we wrote a fabulous book!), and what our new Teen Librarian is up to? Click on over
And be sure to bookmark this page — we’ve got new episodes every month!
And as always, give us a call if you have questions — 615-595-1243