By COLLEEN LEDDY
I have the coolest job in town.
You may think I’m a librarian (I’m not; I earned a bachelor’s degree in Social Science Multi-Disciplinary Program, Pre-Law from Michigan State University back in 1980, but I don’t have a master’s degree in Library Science or Information Technology, so technically I can’t call myself a librarian.).
I often say I’m a fake librarian, but if you work in a library, people want to call you a librarian. That’s fine. It’s kind of like how people call me Mrs. Green because I’m married to Mr. Green. I’m not really Mrs. Green, though; I never changed my name when we married 33-1/2 years ago. But it’s fine; I answer to “Mrs. Green” because I know what they mean—and it’s so confusing: Mrs. Leddy? Ms. Leddy? (I don’t really care one way or the other…call me Colleen.)
And, how do you say it? Is it Led-dy or is it Lead-y? I’m always perplexed about that one because my last name can really only be pronounced one way: Led-dy; Leady could go either way: “lead” as in get the lead out (as Mr. Green tells me when I’m being pokey)...or lead pencil, or lead as in, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. I’m sure people just associate Leddy with Leady because the Leady family was here first and the names are so similar. And, sometimes, when I sign my name very quickly, the first “d” looks like an “a.”
Anyway, lately, I’ve been even less a librarian and very much more a Santa Claus. I told you: coolest job in Morenci...or probably anywhere. As part of the “Sculptamania!” project (David gave the project the name, by the way—he also came up with the name of the millage campaign slogan: Step Up for Stair. Parents: if you need a name for a newborn, see David Green first. He’s pretty good at naming things. I love our children’s names: Benjamin, Rosanna and Madelyn. He didn’t actually come up with the names, but he vetoed every other name I suggested until I suggested each of those.) But back to my cool job. I get to go toy shopping.
I’ve been buying all kinds of very cool toys that inspire creativity and are also very fun to play with—for all ages—and I really mean all ages. Even if you’re 88 and don’t have a kid in sight, you’ll enjoy giving them a whirl or even just observing the joy youngsters will experience this Saturday when the whirling begins at 10 a.m., building structures and creating creatures with the variety of materials that will be available during the library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. These are the kind of toys where you don’t have to follow directions; there’s no right or wrong way to play with them. You just experiment with the materials and create.
Playing with the toys inherently incorporates the tenets of the creative process: accept many answers, make wild and crazy suggestions, don’t judge early on, daydream, play with an idea, make “mistakes,” learn from what doesn’t work, etc. The toys were specifically selected to enhance creativity in the 3-D realm in conjunction with the part of the project that is taking place in Morenci schools (which was written about in the last few issues of the Observer).
You may have already read about it in the stories about our American Library Association grant funded by Disney, but I’d like to drive home the point: what an incredible resource we have in creative and innovative art teacher Kym Ries! We have all benefited greatly over the years by the wonderful student and community art displays she sets up at the library. With this project, Kym developed the idea to introduce children to the art of abstract 3-D sculpture and art in public places—through school lessons, field trips and actual design work.
Third through eighth grade students are each “adopting” a sculpture in Adrian’s Art Discovery display and Tecumseh’s Art Trail, researching it to learn about the artists and the work, and then going on field trips to see those works. Students are also creating 3-D sculptures in art class, and those will be put on display at the library in January and February.
Throughout the school year, classes will visit the library to use the toys, more technically known as creative construction materials, and library patrons are welcome to use them any time during open hours. Gather up the kids—or just come by yourself—and play with them this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.—and also enjoy building yourself a sub sandwich and a Sundae—it’s all free.
Ho, ho, ho!