Lego Club inspires inventive creations
HOULTON, Maine — For nearly a decade, members of the Cary Library Lego Club in Houlton, have been building stories from their imagined designs.
And on Tuesday, Dec. 13, like most Tuesdays at the library, approximately 10 young members built their own interpretations of a library, brick by Lego brick.
“It’s been hugely successful,” said Linda Faucher, librarian for the Cary Memorial Library. “It’s an opportunity to bring out what their talent might be in a hands-on application.”
Amid giggles and stories about school and books like “Harry Potter,” the creators’ rifled through bags and containers packed with plastic pieces in red, gray, green, lavender, lime, yellow, black, white and pink.
“Does anyone have yellow? I need yellow,” one boy asks.
“My bookshelves are now five stories tall,” another boy says.
“Is that necessary?,” a girl asks.
“I have to go scope out the architecture,” one girl said before leaving the area to examine the library.
As the hour progressed, walls, doors, elevators, emerged amid the chatter and clicking plastic. And their visions — inspired by the book “Our Library” by Eve Bunting — started taking shape. Some created literal interpretations of the library, some found the whimsical and offbeat, while one or two told tales of what secrets and surprises a library holds for them.
Grace Han, 7, quietly thought about her sculpture and started adding horses and innovative bridges. As if the pages of a favorite story were coming to life for her. She leaned over to her 5-year-old sister, Esther, to say it was magical. And even added the word “Magic” to her final piece.
There is no charge to participate in the club, but there is a monthly sign-up. The library provides all the Legos, the bags and displays the creations in the library as well as posting images of the art works on Facebook. Prior to Covid-19, the Legos were kept in drawers in the Children’s Library, but now they each are given bags of disinfected Legos.
Created by Danish toymaker Ole Kirk Christiansen in 1932, the building blocks were named after a Danish phrase, “leg, godt,” which means play well.
The first club meeting was in January 2014 and the creations were initially inspired by a theme for the week. But over time the approach evolved, and now Children’s Librarian Haley Jipson reads the club members a book for inspiration.
“Whatever they envision,” said Faucher. “We’ve been going toward technology for so long it’s good to keep children using their imaginations … They are excited to get their creation admired.”
In the summer, the library partners with the Recreation Center in Houlton for a three-day Lego Camp.
“It’s always full,” said Faucher. “This past summer, all three days were full.”