Welcome to the PLIX Discussion Forum

Hi everyone - My name is Lynn Dever and I direct two small rural libraries in Northern Idaho. I responded to an email regarding the PLIX Phase 2 toolkit project. At one of my libraries we began to do STEAM projects two summers ago and then added a small Makerspace. Now that is where the kids head when they enter the library. I am always looking for new ideas to motivate the kids here since there is really not a lot to do in these small communities.
We have recently done a couple of projects centered on space so I picked the Space Food toolkit. I received my box of supplies last week and I am thinking of some examples that I can make to help the kids brainstorm.
We hold an event each month on a Saturday and we will use this event in February. When I asked the staff what they thought they looked at me kind of funny. They thought that we would be cooking space food. So now I really have to come up with some good stuff to show them how fun this is!
Ada or Michelle - is there a link to a Space Food discussion?
Thank you!

Katy - I have a buffet that looks very much like this. It is very high quality and it was my Mom’s long ago. Can you tell me what you used on this? I really like old pieces because they are so well made and real wood.
Thank you,

Hey Lynn!
So this was actually a newer (15-20 yr) dresser that had a shiny varnished finish. I used Chalk paint and then aged it with another type of paint. Best part is that you don’t have to sand or anything, and once the curing period is over the paint is very durable. You can put a wax on it or a top coat if you want as well. I would definitely recommend the chalk paint though…easiest thing I’ve ever used on furniture!

1 Like

Welcome @lcdever Lynn! I love that you’re thinking about kids’ brainstorming process. For more ideas here’s a :astronaut: Space Food kitchen tool remix over at [Workshop Share-Out] Kitchen Tool Design for the ISS

I’ll see you at Space Food Explorations: Rural & Tribal Library Toolkit Project Phase 2!

Hi Everyone! My name is Ulyses and I work as a library manager for the Walla Walla County Rural Library District in Washington state. I heard about PLIX through my director, who specifically referred me to the Spatial Poetry activity, as I’m a poet.

I’m looking forward to learning ways to incorporate poetry into my libraries’ programming, and more generally to make poetry an activity that more kids are exposed to as a form of play and exploration.

As far as recent creations are concerned, I’ve written three poems today (so far).

1 Like

Welcome @Ulyses! :wave: :sailboat: We’re thrilled to have you on board for such a well-matched :crystal_ball: activity.

Do check out the conversations over at PLIX Rural & Tribal Library Toolkit Development: Phase 2 Explorations. For your spatial poetry explorations, you can play around in Spatial Poetry Explorations: Rural & Tribal Library Toolkit Project Phase 2

Hi everyone! :wave:
My name is Jen and I am the Activity Services Guide with the Pines & Plains Libraries located in a small rural county on the eastern plains of Colorado. I am honored to be part of the PLIX program and look forward to working with and learning from each of you. I may be periodically unavailable as I am due to deliver our baby girl in about two weeks but hope to be able to participate and engage as much as possible!

I can’t wait to find ways to develop programming for our library branches and bringing new and exciting STEAM projects to our community and kids.


Hello! This Renee from Bekkum Memorial Library in Westby, WI. I am working on Spatial Poetry and looking forward to the meeting today. I’m still trying to figure out how to post photos here! Yikes!
I’ll get there!

1 Like

knitters are some of the most amazing people!

1 Like

Hello! My name is Jessica Fouts and I’m the director at the Lied Battle Creek Public Library. I’m taking part in the phase 2 of the Rural and Tribal Libraries toolkit project. I’ve had a bit of difficulty figuring out this technology so I was here and disappeared and am back. I’m excited to being doing the inflatables and am brainstorming about how I can do this project with our community. I came on as the director about 4 years ago and have started some different STEAM programming with mixed results. When our systems director posted about this opportunity with PLIX, I had to investigate and am now amazed at how this resource will help me bring more STEAM opportunities to our community.

1 Like

Hi, everyone! I’m Stephanie and I’m a lead library specialist with the Martin County Library System in Florida.

My job involves educating both the public and staff on emerging technologies, so joining PLIX was a natural fit for me, even before I got this position. I love combining tech with art and helping to solve the question “what is technology and why should we care?”, a question a manager posed to me and has since informed my practice.

Along this line, I put together a Paper Circuits kit that will circulate through our six libraries. I’m doing my two branches first, then we’re moving it along to other branches. We’re already full for both events! We’re also planning on how to remix Paper Circuits at other events throughout the system using other equipment like our Cricut and Silhouette machines.

So this is another reason I joined PLIX: to get ideas for projects for my patrons. I largely work with adults, many of whom are reticent about getting involved with technology. Programs like Paper Circuits are my way of bridging that gap between reluctance and curiosity - and with something to take home that they made! I love MIT’s idea of “Lifelong Kindergarten” and have shared the page with my team, hoping they will get some ideas for their own programs as well.

I’m so looking forward to working with and alongside everyone to make our library a more tech-friendly place…for everyone! :slight_smile:


Hi :wave: @spiccino Stephanie and welcome to the PLIX community!

I look forward to hearing more about your experiences with adults and hope you’ll share :heavy_heart_exclamation: some of your facilitation techniques with us as you learn about ours.

Hi I’m Jenny and a Coderdojo mentor in a makerspace in Cambridge, UK <3


Welcome @JayElf Jenny! And hello :wave:t4: from one Cambridge to another!

1 Like

Hello, I am Daryl, I am a makerspace specialist at the Hutchinson Public Library in Kansas. Although we are a small community (population ~ 50 k) in central Kansas, we do have several unique resources, like the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Museum.

Currently, our makerspace is housed in the basement of the library, however, the library is embarking on a remodeling project that will see the makerspace moved to a prominent location on our first floor.

I joined PLIX in order to expand my knowledge and for it to serve as a catalyst as our makerspace and library grow. I am looking forward to taking the PLIX Mini-Course and leaning how to become a better facilitator of active learning at our makerspace.


Welcome @Daryl_G Daryl! Makerspaces are one of my favorite types of spaces. :star_struck:

I look forward to hearing more about your experiences and learning from you as well.

Hello everyone! My name is Avi, I am a young adult librarian at an NYPL branch in the Bronx. I joined the PLIX community because I really want to provide STEAM based programs for my teens and am woefully inexperienced in it. I think this is a great opportunity to learn more so I can help my teen grow and provide them with the best experience at the library.


Hi @MsAvi! Working with teens is such a rewarding experience. Having the opportunity to not only provide them with a safe place to hangout, but also opening them up to creative side of STEAM activities, will create lifelong memories!

Welcome to PLIX! :grin:

1 Like

My name is Shannon Bismark and I’m the Teen Services Librarian at the Cleveland Bradley County Public Library. My super supervisor Keisha just finished the PLIX ambassadorship and wanted me to join in on the community as well! We’re still in the throws of preparing our Creative Cottage for full use, trying to get permanent spaces for our makes and things.

A dream I have for the futures of libraries is being able to provide a space where people know they can come and create, either solo or collaborative projects, without the financial barriers that may have previously stood in their way. Giving access for community members to just TRY the thing. For creative programming with my teens I like to provide them the opportunity to either learn a new skill that could be either A) fun B) profitable or C) make them an important asset to have in a community in the event of a zombie apocalypse or dystopian disaster. :smile:
Recently we have made looms on our glow forge, sewn frog plushies, we’ve been making D&D minis on our 3d printers, and this past week we did a hydro-dipping activity. This week I’m challenging the teens to an Automaton building challenge, and we’re making tea stained fantasy maps.


Welcome @Shannon_Bismark ! We’re totally on board with your vision. I believe creative learning and thinking can help people overcome that first hurdle of financial and mental barriers. We haven’t thought about profitable skills or activities, except in the context of future STEM careers. Something to think about!

Also, I didn’t know hydro dipping could be a non-industrial activity. Love all the activities you’ve mentioned!