Tuesday, December 9, 2014

She's Crafty | Crafty Resources

When you think of resources that might be available at your local library for crafting the first thought is obviously going to be about books. Library...books...they kind of go hand-in-hand. But did you know your local SSJCPL branch has more than books to help you in your crafty quests? Yuuup, we got the stuff...

In this post I'm going to introduce you, dear reader, to two resources you can access at your branch or on our website easy peasy.

The first resource is a database.
digital information collected and organized in one place from a variety or sources.
Easily searchable, retrievable, printable and sharable, databases are a very handy tool to have.

With our databases you can:
  • Find repair information for your vehicle through the Auto Repair Reference Center
  • Find your next read by browsing NoveList
  • Perform searches of articles and pictures especially for children in Kids Search

Of course, I'm especially excited to talk about one database in particular, the Hobbies and Craft Reference Center! You read that right, crafters, we have an entire database bursting with all sorts of crafty information! Annnd you can access it 24 hours a day 7 days a week from home or during any hour your local branch is open on one of our public-use computers.

Yeeeah baby!
How does a database help you craft? Say you heard a friend talk about a papercutting craft called scherenschnitte and you wanted to learn more about this German art of cutting paper. This reminds you that you just recently read a blog about a library database that might have information about what you're looking for. You hop on your computer or head to your local branch and hop on one of theirs and...
ssjcpl.org -> Research -> Databases -> Fun!
  1. Go to ssjcpl.org
  2. Mouse over to Research.
  3. In the menu that pops up, click on Databases. This will bring you to the Database Category page.
  4. In this example, to reach the Hobbies and Craft Reference Center, you would click on the Do It Yourself category.
  5. You would then click on the blue and underlined title for the database you want to play with.
Once inside the database you have a few options to find information.
  • performing a Search
  • browse by Category
  • browse by Popular Sources
  • clicking on the Featured Video
  • or pressing the Get Started! button in the Crafts Spotlight area.
To continue our example, let's perform a search for "scherenschnitte".

At the very top of the search results is a promising entry, "Simplified Scherenschnitte". The search result entry tells me that it comes from a periodical, who wrote the article, which magazine it came from, and the date. It will also list thumbnails of pictures featured in the article. At the bottom of the entry it will have all the related files associated to this specific article; be it PDF, HTML, video, and animation. Click on the one you want and it will open your article or media in the browser for immediate consumption.

Once you open the article you have the option to simply read the article, print the article, email the article to yourself or a friend, find out how to cite the article in various formats (helpful if you were writing a research paper on German papercutting), get the permalink for blogging or share the article through your favorite social media sites.

Let's just say, you have options galore.

The next resource I want to highlight are magazines. 

Fun, floppy bundles of paper with photographs and/or illustrations.
Also known as: periodical, journal, glossy, zine...

I did a quick search of all of our periodical titles and was blown away that at this moment the library has about 860 different titles! Even though this number includes all languages, all ages, archived titles, and reference items, it's still an awesome number to behold.

Magazines are great for inspiration pick-me-ups. When I'm dealing with the crafting ho-hums and I can't think of anything to make, or I want to make something but I'm having major craft block--flipping through an issue or two usually gives me all sorts of ideas to play with.

And the tips! You will not believe all the awesome tips you can find in craft magazines. I'm thinking of starting a special magazine tip notebook that I can refer to any time I want. 

Get Inspired!
One of my favorite craft magazines is Paper Crafts. This magazine features paper crafted items submitted by designers. The designs are collected into sections and articles based on a theme or to showcase a craft technique, trend, or layout. This magazine in particular is up-to-date and innovative when it comes to trends in design, color palettes, new craft techniques, and what can be done with new products and tools. I never lay an issue of Paper Crafts down without at least a few ideas rattling around in my head.

Well, I hope this post was helpful and enlightening! If I can encourage at least one person to visit the Hobbies and Craft Reference Center or check out a magazine then I say my mission is a success.

Until next time--stay warm, stay informed, and keep it crafty!

Malia & Kaye