Click to search the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library Skip Navigation

Get Your Creative Juices Flowing at 53rd Street Library


When one thinks of librarianship, terms like “organization” and “information” pop readily to the forefront. One might even associate “education” with a librarian’s duties.

“Creativity,” on the other hand, probably isn’t one of the first word to come to mind. But any good youth services librarian will tell you creativity is a huge part of the day-to-day routine.

At the 53rd Street Library, creativity is something the youth services department has in abundance. From weekly coloring clubs to young writers workshops, crafternoons to structured art programs, the youth services librarians are constantly searching for new and different ways to channel the creative energy of their young patrons.

Zell leads children and caregivers in a camp song.

The past two months have featured some particularly inspiring events, with children’s librarian Grace Zell and information assistant Johnathan Longo leading two stand-out programs.

Zell’s Library Scouts, a weekly program held during the month of September, was filled with classic camp songs and activities. Children in attendance were given a badge—handmade by Zell—at the end of each week’s program.

Said Zell, “The idea basically came out of a deep love of all things summer camp. I was really missing my summers at camp and wanted to share all my silly songs with our patrons.”

Longo tackled one of the weekly Little

Longo shows children images of cave paintings.

Artists events at 53rd Street in the month of October, with a plan to teach children some pre-history. He covered the walls of the storytime corner in brown paper and, after reading some books and having the children identify animals in various cave paintings, he gave the children pastels and let them get to work.

Both Zell and Longo commented on the visible impact their programs had.

Said Longo, “Two of our regular patrons who had not met before and who are in different age groups decided to make a joint picture…It was really fun seeing them work together.”

Children draw their own cave art.

About her program, Zell shared that the mother of a particularly quiet child said he had started singing one of the camp songs while in the shower.

Said Zell, “It made my day. Just knowing that these silly songs are able to stick with them is a real treat to hear.”

Interested in participating in some of 53rd Street’s future creative endeavors? Check out our events calendar or stop by the children’s desk on the Lower Level.



Patron-generated content represents the views and interpretations of the patron, not necessarily those of The New York Public Library. For more information see NYPL's Website Terms and Conditions.

New Art Projects For Children

I think the project above is the ideal fun interactive lesson children thrive to learn in, time for free draw on a complete blank canvas is loaded with fun, to enjoy scribbling with different colors & other peers, is one of their personal favorites. Specifically at the Library one of the many books they can enjoy listening to fun stories & later on release their creative thoughts onto paper so we can be proud of their work.

Post new comment