Session 4: Curating Examples

Have you tried out a PLIX activity? Which prompt did you choose?

Share a picture of your creation here. :camera_flash:

  • Did you enjoy making it?
  • What challenges did you encounter?
  • What did you learn?

I wound up making four examples of Paper Circuits before I finally felt I had it figured out! And I have them in the programming bin to show not only other patrons but other staff how many times it may take before you get it “right”.


This is my best example - does it always work? Nope - sometimes the eyes flicker, sometimes they stay on, and they usually don’t work properly when I’m showing them as an example. But I lean into that and explain that this was my third attempt and even then, it’s not perfect! (Purr-fect? :cat2: )

I also had the staffs at both my branches do this both as a team-building activity and so they knew how to describe it to patrons if they were asked. I had the instructions out for them along with the zine but by and large they were ignored :joy: I did give them suggestions on how to lay the copper tape and to trace lines, and even then some mistakes were made. But I am proud to say both teams wound up with functioning circuits…and a boost of confidence to go with them! :tada:

One piece of advice I got from my boss was to make your example less than perfect - this way, patrons will think, “Hey, I can do better than that!” and not feel intimidated. I definitely feel my examples stand up to this :laughing: Also, I learned a lot from watching my staffs do these in different ways than I’d thought and trying different things than I’d suggested. Mostly I had to learn to step back and let people do their own thing. And they did fine, so what did I have to worry about again? :wink:

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I did the Spatial Poetry activity. I mostly chose this activity because I could do it at home without supplies, but I also thought it sounded like fun as I like poetry and multimedia.

  • Did you enjoy making it?
    I did enjoy making it. I made my spatial poem on Canva, so I had a lot of resources to choose from. I also liked looking at a map of a place familiar to me.
  • What challenges did you encounter?
    My challenge was making something meaningful. I’m not exactly sure what my poem means. I didn’t feel compelled to say anything particularly profound about place. The examples in this activity all seem to have pretty profound messages.
  • What did you learn?
    I learned that this activity is not necessarily one I would do with my audience. I am a children’s librarian, and I’m not totally sure this activity would resonate with the groups I work with. I could see this activity being more fun for tweens or teens, and I think if a program like this were to be offered for them, it would be really cool to have maps on hand of regional places so that they could build that conneciton to place. In that sense, I am now wondering if it would be cool for kids, too. Perhaps I’m just intimidated by the deep messages implied in the example pieces. I think kids would just have fun creating something new out of a map. Maybe the supplies would be a little different with kids, like including some glitter glue or googly eyes. The end results would be much different, but the exercise in thinking about place and the meaning it holds would still be meaningful.
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Hi @Trisha! Thank you for sharing your reflections on the Spatial Poetry activity. It’s definitely one that can go very deep. But it does offer low-floor opportunities in the current prompts. Let me know if you have any questions about them.

For a deeper dive—check out explorations by other library professionals on the Spatial Poetry forum tag. Our @joem tried a variety of ideas in this forum post. He works with teens and sometimes younger kids and will likely respond if you reach out.