Tactile Thursdays begin anew at the Institute

Students come together to collaborate as they work on their creative projects. Tech Library’s partnership with the Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking works to foster creativity on campus. // Photo courtesy of Georgia Tech Library

The Tech Library has partnered with the Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking to put on an event series known as Tech’s Tactile Thursdays.

This program is hosted on the first Thursday of the month at 11:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Catherine Manci, the Public Programming & Community Engagement Specialist for the library, worked alongside Anna Doll, a collaborator from the Museum of Papermaking, to successfully organize each event.

The goal of the event series is to allow students to explore the depths of their creative reaches outside of their STEM-focuses classes and career goals.

“This program allows for students to take a little time away from technology to focus on a tactile skill that includes a creative use of paper,” Manci said.  While the library serves as the host space and provides any materials required for the event, the instruction is led by Doll.

The event has featured various workshops. Previous ones have included quilling, origami, accordion books, papel picado, woven box, Chinese lanterns, cyanotypes and tunnel books.

While the library has mainly partnered with the Museum of Papermaking to bring this event to life, the library has also had a takeover by the Origami Club as well as a member of the library staff teaching watercolors most recently on March 2.

“Kim Sheldon from the Library taught a watercolor flowers workshop. Both workshops were sold out, and attendees learned different watercolor brushstrokes and techniques to paint a flower,” Manci said. 

Demand for the events never wavers. Students and staff alike are welcome to take part in the monthly events.

When asked about her motivations behind Tech’s Tactile Thursdays, Manci said that “our primary hope is that these workshops give the Tech community an opportunity to relax, as well as to exercise a different art of their brain. Many of us on campus spend most of our days looking at a computer, and taking some time away from the screen to be present in your physical body and manipulate paper to create something beautiful can be really refreshing.” 

Manci also went on to speak about the library’s partnership with the museum. 

“We also wanted to create a space for students to experience the amazing offerings of the Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking [located on 10th street on the edge of campus], but in a more frequently visited part of campus.” Tactile Thursdays give members of the Tech community the chance to explore their creative side while also interacting with others who share
similar interests. 

“We are inspired every month by the talent of our community in the Tech’s Tactile Thursdays programs, and all levels of skill are welcome. 

However, we’ll note that this program is very popular and the spots fill up quickly every month, so we encourage everyone to sign up early,” Manci said.

Whether you are an experienced artist or a beginner looking for an opportunity to explore your interests, Manci and Doll encourage everyone to come out and attend the events they work so hard to put on for the community. 

To keep up to date on Tactile Thursdays and learn more about their program offerings, visit library.gatech.edu/classes-events

To learn more about the papermaking museum and its future interactive programs, visit paper.gatech.edu/program-listing for more information on the details of such events.