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By SARA ARTHURS
Are you staying home to avoid spreading or catching coronavirus? If so, that’s great. But … are you bored? Well, librarians and museum staff have got you covered with a long list of things to do.
As the Findlay-Hancock County Public Library is where many community members get both their education and their entertainment, staff there have been brainstorming.
Joel Mantey, adult services manager, has been collecting ideas this week to be posted on the library’s website while the library is closed. Among others, they include exercise and fitness ideas (like the YouTube class “Yoga with Adriene” and the FitOn app), several zoos that have webcams, museums with “virtual tours,” movies and Great Courses.
Creativebug is an online database that allows people to take arts and crafts classes online, with a library card. (The library can create a “digital library card” for you if you don’t have one.)
Go to the library’s collection of online resources at https://www.findlaylibrary.org/databases — you’ll also find other things there to keep you busy, like the Mango Languages program to learn languages online. From there, the library’s Devin Orpurt said, you can create an account on Creativebug, and after that first time, you can just log onto creativebug.com with your account.
Classes include sewing, quilting, watercolor painting and sketching. There are also some recipes.
Erin Gillespie, the library’s teen associate, said that in normal times, when the library is open, teens in the community love board game nights as well as craft nights.
“We have been painting, making friendship bracelets, creating melted bead creations, making 3D paper snowflakes or any other simple crafts, they have enjoyed it and I have had several say it’s just calming and a great way to lower stress,” she said in an email. “Pinterest, of course is full of ideas. … Now is a great time, if you have the supplies to try some of these ideas. It is also a great time to make family memories, gather around the table and play board games at night. Read with your younger siblings!”
Gillespie said other ideas might be to teach your teen a new recipe and have them help you make dinner, or “use YouTube and have a dance party.”
Teens could be challenged to draw their own comic strip or learn about the stars, she said, noting that the library did a demo of the app Starlight last summer.
Gillespie, who advised having some sort of structured schedule, noted that many of the library databases also offer a chance to teach yourself something new. The library also offers e-books, music, audiobooks and movies through its website.
“The simple thing is to keep busy and limit social media and news exposure,” she said.
And, she noted, there would be Broadway musicals released to view online.
For adults, Gillespie suggested working your way through a cookbook — or, perhaps, get back to your New Year’s resolution of working out or decluttering your home.
The Hancock Historical Museum, like the library, is closed to the public, but staff have been doing their part to keep the community occupied while everyone is at home.
On their Facebook page recently, for example, was a “scavenger hunt” with a list of activities like “learn a historic dance like the foxtrot, twist or Charleston” and “listen to a song from before you were born.”
Curator/archivist Joy Bennett said the museum regularly posts educational activities on its social media pages such as videos of presentations, or #WhatIsIt?, in which museums take pictures of things in their collections and have people guess what they are. And, she said, every Friday they’ll post #MuseumZen, a picture of something relaxing so people can end the week on a calm note. Staff members also each pick one thing in their home that would be in a museum about them, calling it “Museum of Me.” (Bennett, for example, prizes an autograph from Eva Marie Saint.)
Bennett co-hosts a “classic movie night” series that was supposed to start this week. Instead, the museum has recorded an introduction telling people where to stream old movies.
50 North has put together a calendar of suggested activities for each day in April. Among them are getting out the grandchildren’s crayons to color, and having an “old movie marathon.”
Director Carolyn Copus said the fitness department has also been posting exercise ideas online.
And the Wellbeats program, which 50 North subscribes to, has “a plethora” of classes that 50 North’s members can access, at no cost, through the nonprofit’s website until April 30.
50 North has also arranged for some arts and entertainment, such as a choir “meeting” online, with the director playing the piano and members singing along at home.
The University of Findlay’s Mazza Museum, which is dedicated to children’s book art, is sharing “virtual storytime” videos at 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday.
“Our morning story will be fun and upbeat and our evening story will help you wind down for the night,” a press release states.
And museum director Benjamin Sapp said, “I am saddened by having to close the museum during this time. We would like to share just a bit of our collection through these stories at a time when they are needed most.”
Updates and story previews will be posted on the museum’s social media pages.
Dr. Tyler Fields, a veterinarian, said this time of limited interaction with other humans can be a great time to “build connections” with pets. Maybe you’ll want to teach your pet new tricks. Or, if your dog doesn’t like having its teeth brushed or its ears cleaned, this is a good time to practice.
Fields does recommend washing your hands after interacting with your animal. And, if you take your dog for walks, be aware of the need to stay apart from other humans you may encounter.