Page Turn Episode 021

Hello and welcome to Episode Twenty-One of Page Turn: the Largo Public Library Podcast. I’m your host, Hannah!

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The Spanish Language Book Review begins at 12:09 and ends 14:32 at
The English Language Transcript can be found below

But as always we start with Reader’s Advisory!

The Reader’s Advisory for Episode Twenty-One is Grilled Cheese and Goblins by Nichole Kimberling. If you like Grilled Cheese and Goblins you should also check out: Woman World by Aminder Dhaliwal, My Lavender Boyfriend by Marina Ford, and Better Not Pout by Annabeth Albert.

My personal favorite Goodreads list Grilled Cheese and Goblins is on is Fluffy Queer Romance.

Today’s Library Tidbit is about crafting and mindfulness.

You may have noticed we do a lot of crafting programs here at the library. Why do we do them? Well mostly because they’re fun. We like crafting, you like crafting, it’s a win/win. However, why do people like to craft in the first place?

Some people craft out of boredom, some out of family obligation, some to make a living, some to preserve a cultural heritage, and some to relax and de-stress. All reasons for crafting are valid reasons for crafting!

However, what I’m going to focus on today is crafting for relaxation and to de-stress and why crafting can be a way to do these things.

Before getting into that let’s define crafting. Crafting or handicraft are a variety of work done by hand or with simple tools that creates a practical but decorative object. This makes it a subclass of Art, but not all art is handicraft. Some other pseudonyms for crafting are artisanry, handicrafting, handcrafting, domestic arts, folk art, and rural crafts. Crafts often have cultural and/or religious significance to the person who is doing the work. Crafting is also a way to spread a political message.

A craft can be anything from needlework to basket weaving to balloon animals to leather work to glass blowing. There are hundreds of different crafts to try out. Finding out which craft you enjoy doing can take time, but it’s well worth it when you do.

For a long while crafts were dismissed. They were either seen as unimportant because they were “women’s work” despite a lot of craftsmen being, well, men, and women’s work has been seen as lesser for most of civilization. Or crafts were dismissed because they were practical. The idea being that practical things had less spiritual and emotional importance than the non-practical arts.

The Industrial Revolution replaced the need for people to craft. Before the Industrial Revolution, and widespread use of factories to manufacture products, everything was created more or less through crafting.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s movements across the world fought back against the dismissal of handcrafting. Two of the most famous movements are the Arts and Crafts movement in Britain and the Mingei movement in Japan. These movements sought to save crafting as the Industrial Revolution threatened the very existence of crafts. The experts in various crafts were unable to pass on their knowledge as apprentices were being conscripted into factory work instead. These two movements, while differing in some major ways, both sought to bring back handicraft and sought to lift up the artisan’s abilities.

In more modern times First Nations people, Native Americans and Indigenous peoples, in countries and people groups that were decimated by colonialism have started to recover their people’s cultural handicrafts often in danger through the direct prosecution and destruction by white people.

Thankfully handicraft across the board has seen a resurgence in culture and is now seen as important to cultural identity or a useful skill to have.

But aside from the practical nature of crafts, why do we craft?

Well, most people craft because they enjoy crafting. Not every craft is enjoyable to every artisan, but people can find enjoyment out of one or more types of handiwork. Crafting allows people to be creative and being able to be creative makes people happy.

Creativity at it’s most basic definition is the making of something, whether to express an emotion or feeling or to create a product. There is data to show that there is an improvement in people’s well-being the day after they do something creative.

There has recently been some scientific study into the relationship between crafting and mental health and neuroplasticity, or the brain’s ability to change with time. There have been several signs that show that the process of crafting forces people into a flow state or the zone. A flow state is achieved when a person is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus and enjoyment of a single activity.

The concept of a flow state, or getting into the zone, has been connected to mindfulness. (A bonus for any close reader’s of the show notes the psychologist who named the flow state is Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, which might explain why I didn’t tell you that on the podcast). The western concept of mindfulness itself has been derived from the Buddhist element of sati. Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present in the moment without judgment. It allows people to detach from thoughts and emotions and to evaluate them objectively without passing judgment. When practicing mindfulness you are not spending your energy worrying over past decisions or future ones, but fully recognizing the present moment you are living in. The ability to do this correctly has been shown to alleviate depression, anxiety, stress, and other mental health disorders.

So when people craft and enter a flow state, or become fully focused on their craft, it is alike to doing mindful meditation. The ability to look at the finished product of this type of mindful meditation is good for our brain’s well-being. Science has found what is called the “effort-driven reward circuit”. This circuit shows that the areas of the brain associated with reward, emotion, movement, and higher reasoning are connected. When we activate this circuit, such as by crafting, our sense of well-being improves and we feel more positive about life.

While practicing mindfulness gives us the chance to separate from our thoughts and feelings and to interrogate how much of our own mental resources we are giving to them, it is not a magic fix. We encourage everyone to speak with a doctor if they are struggling with their mental health, but to also find the activity that brings them pleasure, happiness, and/or contentment.

We also hope you’ll come out to our craft programs and try out several different types of crafting. Unsure of what to try? Or do none of the programs appeal to you? Head upstairs to our non-fiction collection and check out the Dewey Decimal numbers between 730 and 760.

And now it’s time for Book Traveler, with Victor:
Welcome to a new edition of Book Traveler. My name is Victor and I am the Community Outreach Librarian here at the Largo Public Library.

In this segment I am going to talk about a book we have in the Spanish collection. It is a non-fiction book titled We Fed an Island: The True Story of Rebuilding Puerto Rico, One Meal at a Time by Jose Andres and Richard Wolffe.

Synopsis: The true story of how a group of chefs fed hundreds of thousands of hungry Americans after Hurricane Maria and touched the hearts of many more.

Opinion: Chef José Andrés arrived in Puerto Rico four days after Hurricane Maria hit the island. The economy was destroyed and for most people there was no clean water, no food, no energy, no gas, no way to communicate with the outside world.

Andrés addressed the humanitarian crisis in the only way he knew he could do it: feeding the most affected people, one hot meal at a time. He started preparing a few meals a day. Soon there were 1,000, later 5,000, then 10,000. From serving Sancocho, a traditional soup in Latin American cuisines, with his friend José Enrique in Enrique’s devastated restaurant in San Juan, to cooking 100,000 meals a day in more than a dozen kitchens across the island, Andrés and his team fed hundreds of thousands of people. At the same time, they also faced a crisis with deep roots, as well as the broken and wasteful system that helps economically support some of the largest charities and non-governmental organizations, denouncing their incompetence and bringing to light what does not work for our current food culture.

Based on Andrés’ perspective, as well as meetings, messages and conversations he had during his stay in Puerto Rico, Feeding an island poignantly describes how a network of community kitchens managed to make a real change, and tells an extraordinary story of hope in the face of disasters, both natural and those caused by human beings.

That is all for today. Until the next edition of Book Traveler. Goodbye.

Thanks everyone for listening some upcoming library events to keep track of:
January 2nd Busy Builders at 2:00pm in the Children’s Program Room
January 3rd Life-Sized Candyland and Sweet Crafts slots start at 1:00pm in the Children’s Program Room
-Registration is Required
January 6th 2020 Goal Setting: It’s Not WILLpower, It’s WE’LLpower at 6:00pm in Jenkins Room B
January 7th eBooks and eAudiobooks: Learn Libby at 3:00pm in Jenkins Room A
January 7th Feast From the Middle East: Falafel & Hummus at 6:00pm in Jenkins Room A
-Registration is Required
January 9th Geometric Jewelry at 10:30am in Jenkins Room A
January 13th Roots Magic 1 at 6:00pm in the Local History Room
January 14th Android Phones for Beginners 2 at 3:00pm in Jenkins Room A
January 16th Tween Time at 4:00pm in the Children’s Program Room
-Registration is Required
January 18th Genealogy Refresh: Genealogy Basics & Beyond at 11:00am in Jenkins Rooms A & B
January 21st Fact or Fiction Book Club: Where is Walt Disney World? At 4:00pm in the Children’s Program Room
January 22nd Military Records at 10:00am in the Local History Room
January 23rd, 24th, and 25th The Friends of the Largo Library Semi-Annual Book Sale at 9:00am in the Jenkins Wing
January 27th Guest Speaker: Marie Silverman at 6:00pm in the Children’s Program Room
January 29th Sew a Reuseable Snack Bag at 6:00pm in Jenkins Room B
-Registration is Required
January 31st Are You Smarter Than a Librarian? At 4:00pm in the Children’s Program Room

We still wish everyone celebrating a Holiday this month a very happy one.

Have a great day everyone we hope to talk to you again soon!

For everyone interested our intro music is by Break the Bans and the outro music is by Jahzzar, both artists can be found on Free Music Archive.