Tuesday, October 25, 2016

"Crafting Circle": introducing a new service at Book Ideas

Crafting Circle
Sewing, knitting, stitching, 
crafting and chatting in English

From November 16, 2016
Every Wednesday morning from 10am-12pm

Bring along your craft project
Work in our comfortable space
Enjoy the company of others
Join in on the conversation--in English!

You do not need to join the group or attend regularly. There is no fee, but participants are asked to buy a drink.

At the 8th Annual General Meeting in February 2016 many of you used the questionnaire to give me feedback about Book Ideas: how you feel about the changes that have taken place since we started; your suggestions for what services we could provide in the future; and who we could “become” as an organization. 

For many years Book Ideas has been a neighborhood institution offering a place to check out books and chat in English. At our location in the Momijigaoka Bunka Center people felt comfortable coming in for a look, a chat, even sitting down and reading or letting the kids play, all on their way to the “regular” Japanese library next door. That feeling of a low-commitment, easily accessible public space has changed since we moved into our rented premises, which are tucked away in a side street off Hitomi Kaido. Now, a visit to Book Ideas requires more of an effort and is no longer a little side trip on the way to somewhere else.

Our clientele at the Bunka Center was very diverse. Sometimes unaccompanied kids attracted by our toys and games would peek in; young parents with young children stopped by; some college-aged students and many middle-aged women were curious about us; while us more “mature” women, with a sprinkling of men of all ages, constituted most of our customers. There were casual visitors who just came for the books and maybe a chat with me, but over time a group of regulars developed and many of us got to know each other personally. Since we moved to the new premises we seem to have kept many of those regulars, while the others are mostly staying away. And the occasional newcomer does still find their way to Book Ideas but the numbers are going down. 

Reflecting on these facts and your feedback from the questionnaire has inspired us to expand our services at Book Ideas. Every weekend will still be “open house” where anyone can come to talk, read, and check out books. We will still have monthly presentations on a variety of topics. However, in addition to these services, we are introducing new offerings for various age and interest groups!

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