Hamilton East Public library encourages creativity through How-To Festival


Photo by John Yun

Adults and children, alike, take advantage of the many resources that the Ignite Studio has to offer at Fishers Public Library on Sept 28.

Many people bustled about the Hamilton East Public libraries in Fishers and Noblesville, grasping an itinerary for the How-To Festival on Sept. 28. Kids jumped around holding books, and parents smiled as they watched.

The event included a diverse array of free presentations and workshops that took place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The events ranged from serious presentations like “How to Be a Global Goals Advocate” to crafts like “How to Make Unicorn Slime.”

“We just want to provide unique learning experiences of different skills and tasks that you can learn how to do in a 45-minute session,” public engagement manager Jennifer Harmon said.

This is the first time that the Hamilton East Public libraries have hosted the How-To Festival, which was inspired by other libraries across the nation that have done a similar event. The presentations and workshops were chosen through brainstorming sessions and through the availability of community resources.

The How-To Festival was created not only to allow community members to enjoy themselves but also to help allow them to express themselves creatively.

“I think that the goal is to make everyone aware of their own power to create things,” Ignite Studio instructor and Studio assistant Garen Robie said. “There is a sense of pride and of real achievement in creating your own creative pieces, whether it’s clothing to tools.”

The events took place in the meeting rooms in Hamilton Public libraries and in the Ignite Studio situated at the lowest level of the Fishers Public Library. The Ignite Studio is an art studio and maker space that features a fab lab, kit library, A.V. studio, digital media labs, and much more.

“I think [the How-To Festival] event is excellent for not just children but all ages,” Robie said. “I feel like creativity is a muscle that we all have but just requires exercise. Having an open and free space like Ignite as part of the How-To Festival is great for bringing in people of many ages and different experience levels, especially for kickstarting that creativity in the youth.”

Even though the event attracted many people, the library made sure to choose strategic locations for the event that still allowed for a quiet study place for regular library-goers.

“[The How-To Festival] has not affected my study experience,” senior Yuya Sawamoto said. “They are doing a really good job of keeping the people that they invite outside of these study rooms so that we are able to focus on our homework.”

The libraries hope to continue this event next year, and they believe that September will be a promising time to do it next year as well.

“If it’s successful, we hope to do it again,” Harmon said. “We know that because it is the first year, it might be a little low on attendance. However, we really like the idea of doing it, so we hope to repeat it again in the future.”