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Library users crafting up a storm during summer

Friday Memorial Library's crafternoons began last year as part of the summer reading program.

The idea was to provide an opportunity for all kids to be involved in library activities, said Georgia Jones, youth services librarian.

"Because our summer reading program begins when Summer Stretch is in session, we wanted to provide an alternative activity for the kids in the afternoon," she said.

Crafternoons, which are geared toward those 8 to 12 years old, are designed so that they can be completed indoors, if needed.

Last year's reading program theme was "Stories Around the World," Jones said. Each craft -- like boomerangs or African masks -- was designed to represent a different portion of the world.

"This year we're not really following the theme," she said. "We're just doing all kinds of different activities."

The program has exploded in popularity.

For the first few crafternoon gatherings, Jones said only a handful of kids attended. Now, it's not uncommon for spots to fill beyond capacity.

"When we had the airplanes, we had to do some quick thinking to find other projects for the extra kids," she said.

Future plans for the crafternoon meeting include crafting unique bubble blowers out of pipe cleaners and beads, along with building water balloon yo-yos.

Jones said the inspiration for the crafts comes from various ideas she finds on Pintrest and the availability of kits she finds online.

"I find so many ideas online and on Pintrest - it's a great resource," she said. "It's been really successful and a lot of fun. I think the kids have really enjoyed (crafternoons)."

Jackie Grumish
Jackie Grumish has been a reporter with the New Richmond News since 2008. She holds degrees in journalism and fine art from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill. Before coming to New Richmond, Jackie worked as the city government reporter at a daily newspaper in Aberdeen, S.D. 
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