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Origami for All Ages!

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67th Street Branch Entry Doors

To you, this knowledge I impart:
Origami is more than art.
It doesn't matter who is faster,
No one here is a master.
If you're not sure, have no fears,
Ask for help from your peers.
It'll look good when you're done,
Whether en masse or just the one!

-Alex Mouyios

As a librarian, I am always trying to come up with innovative programming that can bring together groups of people that would not normally converse on a daily basis. Origami does just that!

When all age groups come together to fold paper into works of art, it creates an atmosphere unlike any other program. Origami is an interactive program, not just because they create something, but because they interact with other people—even outside of their age group.

butterfly butterflies origami paper art
Some of the butterflies made during our Summer 2014 program

Well-planned events are generally well attended with anyone from 8 to 20 people over the course of an hour. In addition, on the rare day when the Library is quiet (during a snow storm, or right before a major holiday), I can improvise a program by pulling out some paper and teaching how one can fold it into a butterfly...or a crow...even a leaf or flower! It keeps kids active, it entertains adults, and, most importantly, it's fun!

Cherry Blossom, Flower, Blossoms, Origami, art
Flyer used to advertise for Cherry Blossom Origami program

It's always so satisfying to see someone you just taught how to fold something, help someone else who is struggling. It's like passing the buck, paying it forward, but most of all it creates a chance for age groups to interact that normally wouldn't. A perfect example would be a teen that already folded a few origami pieces assisting a child or senior who just arrived to the program.

Teaching a child to make a flower

The program can be educational too! In the spring we love to decorate the library with origami cherry blossoms! Before the folding begins, we teach the participants about the significance of cherry blossom festivals.

Stairs, Flowers, Butterflies, Nature, Origami, Art, Library
Cascade of butterflies down stairs from Second Floor

Aside from planned programs, decorating the Library is easy with origami! After all, it is only paper. And yet it amazes me what paper can do to transform a drab white wall into a shower of snowflakes... a cascade of autumn leaves...a drift of flowers...even a flutter of butterflies! It puts smiles on faces, teases the imagination and keeps us young.

Tree with Butterflies. Top of stairs. Second Floor

Hopefully this post will either inspire you to fold some paper or give you some ideas for an event. Decorate, inspire, be creative!

Books on Origami

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