Sign up today.  Next class starts , June 5 2017  Enroll Through June 12, 2017

Arts and Crafts for Youth Librarians

Are you the one responsible for creating arts and crafts programs? Do you need new creative art project ideas for your Summer Reading Program or other events?  Tired of the same ole, same ole.  This is your opportunity to develop a portfolio of ideas that you can use with your Preschool through Teen visitors.  This 4 week online workshop is taught by an art instructor who has first hand experience developing library art programs.  The online class is open 24/7.  Access the online workshop at your convenience.

Instructor Valerie Colston, M.A. is an art instructor and author with many years of experience developing and teaching art programs as an Art Performer at several San Diego local libraries.  She has taught 100 Art Ideas for Teachers at the University of California, Extension in San Diego, California and presently teaches a variety of Art history courses online through colleges and universities.  Her book 200 Projects to Strengthen Your Art Skills published by Barrons Educational Series has received outstanding reviews appearing in School Library Journal, National Art Education Association newsletter, and more.  Her "It's Easy to be a Green Teen" article appeared in  the youth librarian publication Voices of Youth Advocates. Teens Go Green!  Tips, Techniques, Tools and Themes for YA Programming Libraries Unlimited Professional guides for Young Adult Librarians Series 2012 written by Colston has been at times on the best seller list for its category on Amazon. Her artwork was r included in a group exhibition titled "HOME" at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art. Her one person Paper Kimonos art exhibit traveled to several libraries last year.

Here's what youth librarians who have taken the class are saying about the workshop:

. . .this four week class has made a very strong impression on just how important planning and preparedness are to a successful program.
Also, the lesson on studying and interpreting art was very informative and is something I can refer back to.

What I've gained from this class is the wealth of resources brought together under one roof, so to speak. It is helping me push past the nervousness or unease I feel when I want to do more art at the library. I'm not uncreative, but I worry it won't be age-appropriate or there won't be enough supplies or there will be too many supplies. I'm not sure what the barrier is, but I'm breaking through it with my plans for our Summer Learning program, because it will be more hands-on than the usual performers, and I want kids to be able to get their hands sticky and painty and dirty :)

I think this class has pushed me toward fearlessness (I hope). Thank you for the awesome resources. . .

I learned 2 important things by taking this class. I realize that I need to remember to tell patrons that it is ok not to be perfect in doing a craft. Additionally, I have found so many different resources for art projects for my storytime patrons. I am so excited to be able to offer different projects instead of recycling the same ones over and over (boring for the patrons and boring for me).

My favorite project was the Japanese symbol calligraphy- it would be so easy for anyone to do and the results don't have to be perfect to look amazing.

I would definitely recommend this class to other librarians like myself who have no art background. This class would also be good for someone with an art background who is looking for new ideas to try.

I think that a refresher class would be good to take in the future. There are so many art resources out there, it is difficult to keep up with them.

. . . What I appreciated, as well, was the opportunity to have the class as a catalyst for ideas and new ways of thinking about what I already do. It has also been a great source for sites and resources that I can have at the ready for inspiration in the future!

I will do a few of the marketing suggestions. During open house, it is very difficult to get parents into our small media center. The Creative Arts teacher is already on board with creating a gallery in our space. Thanks ValeriE!

In working on this workshop I have worked also on my Summer Reading Program for our library. Week 3 gave so many ideas to use that it was fun to do them and discover which ones would work well for our young patrons. I now have crafts for at least 2 of the 4 books we will read in my Youth Discussion Group. I am well ahead of the game.

I really enjoyed answering the questions about the piece of art in the museum. I want to use some of the questions I learned this summer when we read "Chasing Vermeer" because the book deals with a piece of art.

Thanks for all the help with one of my books for the Summer Reading Program.

Well, I had not thought about bonding art and books together in one reading hour before, so I got new and interesting views of what to do. Thank you for the wonderful ideas.
I had a great time brainstorming ideas and reading the suggestions everyone had!
I feel I learned how to study a painting in more depth. That a painting is made up of many facets. The lines, colors and textures all blend together to make one painting.

I gained lots of great ideas from everyone. The ideas were great and I will incorporate some of them into my programs.

I will keep a copy of the different things I have learned in this session of the class to apply it to painting I encounter. It is exciting.

I bookmarked several of the sites presented in the lessons which will come in handy when I get stuck for ideas. It also helps reading the other's experiences in working with library patrons in crafts events.

Finding ideas are hard to find and this is a wealth of information for myself and the library.

Thank you very much for the wonderful and interesting web-sites, you mentioned. There are so great ideas.

I was delighted to find some new web sites for inspiration - many of my students love to draw and I hope to integrate some of the cartoon drawing lessons in to our weekly book club meetings, possibly in the creation of bookmarks, etc.

It has been great having so much information all in one place. I enjoyed browsing through the many websites & links. Many are new to me. I appreciate all of your suggestions for organization, supplies, storage, recycling, and art tips & resources.

Where do I begin! I have learned about so many resources. I really liked the online scavenger hunt, what a great idea. I also really loved the letter writing with beads.

This week gave me a great many resources to use in our library. I really had to think for the scavenger hunt but I love the idea and did work our a hunt. I also thought the "wanted" poster was fun as well .  .  .

There really are a wealth of information and ideas to explore.

I would recommend this class to others. After all I took this class because my supervisor recommended it to me.

This workshop created by Art Teacher on the Net,  has been approved for 12 LEUs (Indiana Librarians) All libraries and staff welcome.

For more information Contact-Valerie Colston through email at or

Sign Up Today.  Next Workshop Starts May16th .  This is a 4 week workshop only $59.00 (USD)  UK, Canadian, Australian and other currency accepted on the Pay Pal secure website.

You may purchase the class through pay pal below or if you prefer an invoice contact me at or  School and Library checks are also accepted upon approval.

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