As the Adult Programming Specialist, something that had bothered me for a while was that neither our children’s programming nor our adult programming was well suited for adults with disabilities. I had been a caregiver at an organization that cared for these individuals at one time and I remembered how hard it could be to fill up a day. You can only bowl and swim so many times a week, and the cold Wyoming winters do not help.
One day last summer while reading a newsletter from Programming Librarian (put out by the American Library Association for folks just like me), I came across a program called Library for All. The library that had designed this program was Golden Public Library in Golden, Colorado. This was the program for us! The Golden Public Library included a detailed description of how they ran their program (thanks Golden!). We decided to do a trial run of one program in September of 2017 and it was a big success. Starting in December of 2017, we made this a regular monthly program, running September through May.
Library for All is usually the second Tuesday of the month from 11:00 to noon, and let me tell you, we have so much fun! We always have a science element run by scientist Kurt Hinaman (pictured at right) of Lakewood, CO, a DIY project, and several Lego® stations. Our science projects have included seeing how sand cleans dirty water, separating white light into rainbows, flying paper airplanes in a wind tunnel, and (as you can see from the picture) putting Mentos in soda to see which kind of pop explodes the highest (Sam’s Club Diet Coke). Some of our DIY projects have been tie-dyeing pillowcases, making bird feeders out of mugs, creating our own magnets, making chip clips that look like dragonflies, and, of course, making Christmas ornaments and Valentines!
This December however, we are going to mix things up a bit. December 11th will be a Christmas puppet show put on by Meghan Casey of Rocky Mountain Puppets. We will be serving hot cocoa and popcorn.
The important thing is, really, that everyone feels like their library is for them. This is just one more way that we can make that happen. If you know an adult with disabilities, point them our way!