Ben Franklin gets credit for library’s Thrift Week

Ben Franklin can take the credit for an upcoming event at Madison Public Library.

During Thrift Week on Jan. 17 at 4 p.m., youth services librarian Mandy Pinyan will lead students in making thrifty gifts from recycled material. “We’ll use stuff we already have, even stuff seen as junk, and make something new,” Pinyan said.

While planning winter events, the library staff wanted to honor Franklin. Following his philosophies, they decided on thrifty (free) activities for Madison families.

“Franklin took best advantage of what we already have: time, health, natural resources, possessions and money,” Pinyan said. “Franklin’s favorite terms were ‘industry’ (diligence) and ‘frugality’ (conservation).”

“School-aged children … need to learn early the value of conservation and recycling,” Pinyan said. “By making these ideas fun and using everyday objects, it becomes a tangible task that anyone can do.”

Children like to make people happy, she said, so “the element of altruism is intrinsic.”

“Madison Public Library is a leader in children’s and young adult programming in the library system,” Pinyan said. “Because we’re a busy, thriving library with rich, vibrant programs, we can reach a diverse community audience.”

After discussion time, Pinyan will explain the concept of recycled art. The children can use various materials in a workshop to create unique crafts suitable for thrifty gifts.

For materials, the librarians have been saving scraps from craft days and will use natural materials, like pinecones, acorns and sticks. “We’ll use plastic jugs, bottle caps, scrap paper and paints to sculpt and create anything,” Pinyan said.

For the cause, residents are encouraged to donate items like paper towel rolls, plastic bottles, tempera paints and glue.

“Creativity and ingenuity are key,” Pinyan said about the children using creative engineering.

In previous years, Pinyan has coordinated “Teen Recycled Art Night” to recycle disintegrating books into wreaths, purses, comic mobiles, invisible bookshelves and hollow books. For ideas, Pinyan regularly checks out from craft blogs and DIY sites.

Other Thrift Week events will include family movie night and a couponing session. For more information, call 256-461-0046, send email to mpinyan@hmcpl.org or visit hmcpl.org and Facebook/MPLYouthServices.

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