PASSIONATE ABOUT SCHOOL LIBRARIES

Tag: Cricut

Resource: Cricut Refurbishment

Refurbishing a Cricut Machine

I have been fortunate to have a Cricut machine in each of my past 3 libraries. I love them. I love getting creative, love how these machines can make displays, signage and crafting activities easy. So, I was excited and – let’s be honest – relieved when my new library said they had a Cricut machine.

However, I was a little shocked when the Library team mentioned that they didn’t use it and found it easier to cut things by hand. Seriously? That didn’t make any sense to me. It only took the first time me getting it out to use it to understand where exactly they were coming from and why they were finding it so frustrating. I found it frustrating! It took longer than it should and even making a simple project wasn’t easy. Why? The machine had been given to the team without the proper tools and with no training or instruction. The mats were old and either had left over paper struck to them or had lost their stick altogether. And the team had only ever been told to use it with an iPad rather than on a desktop. It was like trying to use the machine with our hands tied behind our backs. Completely impractical and a waste of time.

Thanks to having used a Cricut before, I knew what it could and should be like. And I knew I could refurbish the machine to make it fun and easy to use. Here’s what I did.

How to update a machine

If you’ve decided to purchase a secondhand machine or have inherited an older machine for your library, here’s a few simple steps and tips to get the machine running again smoothly and so you can enjoy using it.

These tips are not going to help a machine that isn’t functioning properly – I leave that to someone with technological and mechanical knowledge, but these should help you get the basics of the machine working well.

Not sure if a Cricut is right for your Library? Check out my post Cutting machines in the Library which goes into the pros and cons.

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Resource: New Shelf Dividers

New Shelf Dividers

It was time for an upgrade. Our library has been using cardboard boxes as shelf dividers for a while now. As our collection grows, the shelves get tighter and the boxes were taking up valuable real estate. They were also looking a little tired, not to mention the empty boxes made the perfect hiding space for students to stash books, rubbish or Easter eggs (I kid you not, the whole thing was in there all crumbled up. What a waste of chocolate!!).

So, we invested in some new acrylic shelf dividers. We purchased them from Syba Signs. While Syba sell the vinyl to stick on the dividers in a range of colours and labels, we wanted to completely control the font and colours, and customise them to our collections. Fortunately, we have a Cricut machine in the library, which can cut vinyl.

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Resource: Cutting Machines in the Library

Electronic Cutting Machines in the Library

Cutting and crafting machines are all the rage in crafting circles. But can they be used effectively in a library? Library displays, decoration, events, marketing, makerspaces – the library is ripe with perfect opportunities to utilise such a machine.

Our library has been very fortunate to have had the use of a personal Cricut machine and has now purchased a new Cricut machine for use in the library (thank you, employer!!!).

So, is it worth it?

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