VINTON–Vinton Library Assistant Marni Smith will be teaching two Pinterest Do-It-Yourself (DIY) classes at the library in upcoming weeks. On Tuesday, September 1 at 6 p.m. patrons are invited to “get ready for school or just get organized” by creating a desk organizer out of discarded items. This class is designed for ages 12 and up. Participants need to bring scissors and embellishments (costume jewelry, ribbon, buttons, etc). Pre-registration is requested by calling 857-5043. There is no charge for the class
On Tuesday, October 6 at 6 p.m. the DIY Class features “Costume Horns,” just in time for Halloween. Smith invites those ages 12 and up to “impress your friends or coworkers with a do-it-yourself costume that costs nothing” by creating a “variety of horns to suit your costume needs.” Participants will be constructing horns from corrugated cardboard so scissors are the only requirement for this class. Fantasy horns are trendy now as a result of Angelina Jolie’s costume in the movie “Malificent.”
Smith has been teaching craft and computer classes at the Vinton Library for several years. She started off at the Hollins Branch Library over ten years ago and has been at the Vinton Branch for the past seven. Smith is originally from Florida with a degree from the University of Florida.
She says that although she teaches crafts, she doesn’t have a background in art and “had never really been ‘all that crafty’ prior to working at the library.”
“Basically, I see something that inspires me and I try to create it with my own style, making adjustments to obtain some originality,” said Smith. “My first ‘art’ program was a four-week ‘Altered Book’ workshop about 10 years ago. I had over 20 people sign up and it turned out to be a blast. Since then, I’ve tried to keep inspiring others to express themselves through art with a variety of programs. Lately, I’ve noticed a difference in the types of programs that draw patrons in. People like creating things that provide function as well as form. And they love giving it their own personal touch.”
As often as not, her craft classes involve recycling and repurposing materials—like the old books or various containers.
In addition to craft classes, Smith generally teaches computer classes each month at the Vinton Branch. With the opening of the new library in late fall, there will be many more computers to work with. The library has offered a wide variety of classes ranging from computer basics to digital collage, photo editing, Pinterest, and computer skills in the workplace. Smith said that with the advanced technology at the new library even more choices will become available.
“With technology classes, I had some very limited experience with software in college,” said Smith. “My knowledge has grown exponentially since starting with the library. As I began teaching classes, I learned as I prepared handouts. As I continued teaching, I tweaked class offerings according to the needs of the community.”
“Sometimes I try to broaden the community’s horizons by slipping in a few classes that they may not think they need–such as web page creation or photo compositing–but as technology skills become more prevalent, job descriptions expand and I want our patrons to be able to apply with confidence,” said Smith. “I’ve noticed over the years that it’s an ebb-and-flow; demand changes and the Vinton library staff rises to meet it, especially with technology. I must point out that as the demand grows for assistance with computers, we all have had to increase our knowledge with various popular applications and devices. Our service is a group effort.”