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Nurturing our creative spirit

by Gwyneth Perry. Weltevreden Senior Librarian

Every person on earth has some level of creativity within them. We are all makers, whether it be making clothes, or cooking and baking, or creating digital video presentations and elaborate websites.

Children are especially good at being creative as they don’t have as great a fear of failure as adults do. They will try and make something out of cardboard, for example, and if it doesn’t work out as they planned, they just try again. I have watched children make the most wonderful creations when given the opportunity to just think out of the box and play creatively.

Thinking creatively is a vital tool for adults as well. In this day and age, one needs to be able to come up with new ideas and visions quickly. The Covid pandemic has enabled more creativity as people have had to find creative ways to continue providing their services, selling their wares, and keeping their businesses going, despite lockdowns and other difficult circumstances.

In libraries, we as staff members have taken this opportunity to be creative with both hands. We have found ways to serve our communities, despite being unable to provide our services in a normal manner, as a result of Covid.

Digital programs are constantly presented on our Facebook platform with storytimes, informative digital displays, book launches, and virtual exhibitions amongst the myriad of presentations being put forward. Thinking creatively has been a way to find meaning and purpose during a difficult time.

Our God-given creativity is something that we must each nurture and use.  Seeing a completed item, whether it be physical such as an item of clothing or a delicious meal, or a website or a written article or anything that you have made and created gives such a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. And the more we create the more we will want to continue on our creative journey.

So start thinking out of the box, begin wondering and dreaming about what you could create, and see where that exciting creative journey will take you.

COJ LIBRARY SERVICES are currently researching and collaborating with the University of Johannesburg and University of Witwatersrand, on introducing Makerspaces in 2022, at selected libraries to encourage communities to learn new skills and to express creativity within library spaces.

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