BY JARRED SPANOS
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – On Tuesday, at 4 p.m., the Alachua County Library District is hosting a creative journaling event at the Headquarters Library in Meeting Room B.
The Creative Journaling and Alachua County Library programs enrich participants’ skills in areas like entertainment and education; it is also an opportunity to better their lives and meet new people.
“The programs allow constituents to get a little taste,” said Joyce West, Public Services Division Director. “It allows them to enrich themselves using the skills they already have.”
Attendance is limited, and registration is required. The event is free to attend. Check-in will start 15 minutes prior. Beginning at 3:55 p.m., attendees will be seated on a first come, first served basis if registered attendees are not at the library.
Leading the event is Karen Rentz, who journals often. She will offer an introduction to journaling, share ideas, and help people develop friendships.
Rentz will use an application called “Creativebug” during the event. Creativebug is free to people with a library card and gives members access to more than 1,000 online art and craft tutorials, taught by experts. Introducing this application opens the door for library patrons to become more skilled in the arts and do more when they are not at the library.
At the start of the event, Rentz will use videos from Creativebug, in which experts from across the country demonstrate various styles of journaling, to inspire people to get creative and try writing some of their own.
All materials are provided by the library. Rentz said she frequently uses artistic lettering, stencils, and markers to elevate the event. With access to everything a writer needs to be successful, the library is focused on providing an inspiring atmosphere for participants. The goal is for writers to be relaxed and gain experience in journaling, regardless of their skill level.
“The books in our collection allow you to explore things that you might not otherwise have access to,” said Joyce West, who oversees all of the library branches in Alachua County.
The library offers resources for anyone with a library card, including Adult Literacy and Early Literacy programs to support people who want to become better readers. Educators & Parents, Homework Help, Job Skills, Test Prep, and Tutor.com are also available to students looking for extra support.
The library also allows visitors to access Morningstar Investment Research Center and the Value Line for financial literacy. As of April 6, 2022, Florida ranks 40th out of 50 states and the District of Columbia in financial knowledge and education, according to WalletHub.
Alachua County Library provides patrons with tools to develop their professional life, as well, with LinkedIn Learning, Northstar Digital Literacy, and AtoZdatabases, a job search tool.
The Alachua County Library District offers many ways for visitors to enrich these skills, including a studio that gives Florida residents the opportunity to try their artistic hand.
“Anyone who has a library card is welcome to come to the library and borrow our materials,” said West.
People of all ages come for the programs; however, the Creative Journaling event is for adults 19 years and older. The library supports diversity and nondiscrimination.
West wanted people to know that this is a program designed for everyone. “Don’t let your skills discourage you from coming to the program,” she said. “Come and have fun and learn something new.”