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Magic Paint at Your Library

There are some easy ways to make your library more interactive on the cheap.  Just use paint!

Four things come to mind: Magnetic paint, chalkboard paint, whiteboard paint, and, ahem, green paint.

Suppose you want to make make your kids area or teen room more interactive but don’t have much money.  Paint a wall.  The paint isn’t hard to find and purchase and it’s relatively cheap for the return on effort.

By painting the wall with chalkboard or whiteboard paint (sometimes called dry erase paint, there are wallcoverings too) you have the ability to support comments and themes.  (And removing stuff or starting over or whatever is easy, peasy.)  And it’s easy to change later or adapt to events, seasons and programs.  It’s a great thing to do pre-renovation on a wall that’s going to be torn down.  Or, when you have a comment period for new programs or ideas for buildings and renovations, memorials or testimonials just paint a public or entrance wall and start collecting.


On this university campus, it’s the library that draws a crowd

“It was a surprisingly easy transformation: they simply coated the walls with IdeaPaint.

IdeaPaint, which is commercially sold by MDC (a leading supplier of wallcoverings and coatings), turns any smooth surface into a dry-erase board. Approximately 20% of the DeLaMare library’s walls are now covered in IdeaPaint. It’s a total of about 1,000 square feet of floor-to-ceiling workspace on 13 walls of the four-floor library.”
I’ve been to a bunch of libraries who’ve painted a wall or two green.  Then, just as quickly, you have a green screen for making movies and photos that you can drop in whatever backgroud you want.  Simple software, often already loaded on your Macs lets you edit movies and photos and design a program around it.

Green Screen 101

“The Skokie Public Library Digital Media Lab comes equipped with our very own Green Screen. We painted one of the walls in the Digital Media Lab so that you can use the Green Screen feature that many of our products offer.”

Magnetic Paint!


“Turn any surface into a fun place to play with Magnets! There are several brands of Magnetic Paint on the market today. Pick the one you like and a space in your library and let the fun begin.”

At Darien Library their teen area is a glass walled room.  Special markers turn the walls into a creative space and they’re always covered in teen prose, poetry, quotes and art.  Some of the markers are flourescent so it’s quite lively!

So, how much traction are you getting out of the walls at your library?

A little paint and your users’ imaginations and you’re all set! How do you support spontaneous inspiration and creativity at your library?




Posted on: March 28, 2013, 7:09 am Category: Uncategorized

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