Get inspired by Exhibit Columbus, then stop by the library

Squished right in the middle of the Halloween sugar rush and the wonder and joy of Christmas is the often overlooked holiday of Thanksgiving. For many, it’s a time of good food, football and Black Friday.

You might relish the thought of spending quality time with family or catching up on a much-needed nap or two. This year, I’m going to try my best to celebrate all of the reasons I have to be thankful.

When I start off counting my family, friends, good health, church, well, it doesn’t take long for me to realize that I am truly blessed. My list would not be complete if I didn’t include the library and my community. I love the library and the role we play in helping to make Columbus a leading cultural center in our great state of Indiana.

I go to work every day in a building designed by I.M. Pei, look out the front door to see a Henry Moore sculpture, and go to church every Sunday in a building designed by Eliel Saarinen. Over the past two months, the space between the library and First Christian Church has played host to two temporary installations from Exhibit Columbus: “Wiikiaami” by Chris Cornelius and “Conversation Plinth” by Tomomi Itakura and Yugon Kim.

This year, I have had the pleasure of telling stories in “Wiikiaami,” and have joined in numerous programs held on “Conversation Plinth.” The addition of these two new structures into our design universe has forced me to look at Columbus with new eyes and appreciate once again the beauty that resides in our city. Whew!

It’s a lot to take in, and like many lifelong Columbus residents, I have been taking it for granted for far too long.

Nov. 26 marks the end of Exhibit Columbus, and I will be sad to see “Conversation Plinth” leave the plaza. When I think about the captivating design that has surrounded us, my hope is that all young people in Columbus were able to take advantage of this opportunity to be inspired and elevated by design elements that have both soared to the heavens and been firmly grounded in the earth. Perhaps the seeds have been planted for a new generation of young artists, designers and makers.

The library offers a wide variety of resources and programs to make sure that none of our young people lose their desire to make and design, and I invite you to continue the conversation started by these wonderful exhibits by introducing your youngsters to what we have to offer.

Our many print and digital resources present the perfect jumping off point for the beginning coder, artist, or crafter:

  • Kids between the ages 7 and 17 can join us at Coder Dojo
  • Groups for ages 5 all the way through teens can solve engineering challenges in Teen Steam or Full Steam Ahead
  • Children as young as 3 will be perfecting their crafting skills at our various story times

Watch our calendar for future family STEM nights and visit us at to see what works out best for you.

Our Digital Underground offers a lab space, 3-D printer, various creative software and a studio complete with a high-definition camera and green screen. Check out our website for more information available on the tools offered in this unique space and what you need to do to best utilize them for your own creative efforts.

So this Thanksgiving, I would encourage you to open your eyes and take a fresh look at your library and your community. What are you taking for granted?

Come to the library and travel to the mezzanine. It’s quite a view. Take one last walk around “Conversation Plinth,” or visit “Wiikiaami” and consider how the Myaamia people once lived. In fact, visit all of the Exhibit Columbus sites. Then visit us at the library and see where your designs take you.

Jodi Prather is the children’s services specialist at the Bartholomew County Public Library.