We’ve got a lot of representation from Tampa Bay libraries this year, and with great reason: Many of them now have makerspace and offer an abundance of maker style programming. Palm Harbor Library, in addition to their awesome Hazel L. Incantalupo Children’s Makerspace, (which will be at GCMCC) also has a pretty impressive culinary makers program. Maryjane Hyatt, a Librarian at Palm Harbor Library, serves up the story.
GCMCC: Who are you and what do you make?
MH: I am Maryjane Hyatt, Librarian at Palm Harbor Library, heading up the fledgling Let Us Cook@Palm Harbor Library program.. I make fun happen with food. I invite guests from local restaurants, breweries, cafes, and individuals to present a 45 minute – 1 hour program revolving around cooking, with samples for the attendees and recipes of said samples to take home and create for their family and friends. I create a matching display to that months cooking theme to increase awareness and material circulation.
GCMCC: Why do you believe Let Us Cook is important?
MH: Let Us Cook is a program of discovery; attendees can explore different types of food every month, Everyone eats, but rarely the same thing, so we highlight the diversity of choices available either locally or from books here at the library. People like to experience things on their own; this program empowers them to try food that may not have been on their normal food ‘radar’.
GCMCC: What inspires you?
MH: Initially, it was Ellen Schellhause, Library Director of Maitland Public Library. I saw her Cultural Cooks presentation at FLA 2015 Annual Convention and heard her speak as that year’s Librarian of the Year; she was phenomenal and I thought then that maybe someday I’d get to something similar. When I was asked to head up a cooking program, I loved the opportunity! On a day-to-day basis anything can inspire me – an item on the radio, a Pinterest post, grocery shopping…!
GCMCC: What will the Let Us Cook program be showcasing at GCMCC?
MH: How others can replicate or tweak this program for food fun in their community, whether it be at their school, library, church, this is a way for everyone to come together, trying different food. I will showcase at the table past programs, recipes, and ideas I’m marinating for future programs.
GCMCC: Why do you believe that Gulf Coast Maker & Comic Con is important?
MH: Networking! Awareness! Not only will I be sending out ideas to others, but I will be absorbing new ideas to bring back to our library and fold in to our program.
Come check out some good eats at the Palm Harbor Library booth, and learn how you can get cooking, too, on March 24 at Gulf Coast Maker & Comic Con at St. Petersburg College- Seminole Campus!