Off The Shelf: Discover the Creator Studio at Madison College Truax Library


Mark Luetkehoelter, Librarian

Ah, the New Year’s resolutions. We all start the year faithfully with a few and then abandon them by Super Bowl time as we binge on junk food and gorge on television ads.

With ritual failures of resolutions in mind, a businessman named Randall Munson a few years ago founded International Creativity Month, recognized each January.

Rather than being satisfied with temporary resolutions, his goal is for individuals and businesses to think longer term for positive change by engaging in creative activities. He offers statistics from business and education supporting the correlation between creativity and success.

The Madison College Libraries offer many materials on the subject of creative ability.

Walter Isaacson’s book “The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution” presents a history of technology innovators from Ada Lovelace, who pioneered computer programming in the 1840s, to web and social media innovators of the present day, with a common theme being how individual and team creative thinking moved technology along.

Sarah Lewis’s “The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery” provides narratives of a wide variety of successful people who continued to use creative thinking to move past failures to eventual success.

Karen Wilkinson’s “The Art of Tinkering: Meet 150 Makers at the Intersection of Art, Science & Technology” celebrates the virtues of taking things apart, exploring tools and materials, and creating things.

The Madison College Library’s streaming educational video database Films on Demand also includes many titles dealing with the creative process, including “Creative Thinking Skills,” which illustrates how utilizing creative thinking skills can mean the difference between success and failure in today’s world.

One of the newest things the Madison College Libraries has done to help spark creativity was the creation of a Creator Studio, where students can learn and discover new skills through tinkering, experimenting, making and collaborating.

Students can explore activities like adult coloring, sketching, small wood crafts, collaborative story writing, gaming, puzzle solving, brain teasers, stationary-making, clay modeling and more.

The Studio also offers workshops throughout the semester on such things as stop animation videos, using a sewing machine, button making, creating 3D objects, black-out poetry, and more. Find out more about the Studio at

The hours for the Studio, just down the hall from the Truax Library in Room B3211, are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Consider starting the New Year with creative exploration instead of resolutions which may be hard to achieve. You don’t necessarily have to have a fixed goal in mind, just be creative.