Doodle Hour Library Program: Zentangle and Adult Colouring

Adult Colouring“Grown Up” Colouring Books have been a publishing marvel so far in 2015. Many are coming out of nowhere, and flying off the shelves. Similarly, the meditative art process called “Zentangle” is also beginning to catch on – with many books being published, and tutorial sessions being held at libraries nationwide. I decided to introduce the students at the Clemens Mill branch to both of these fun, beneficial trends with a low key munch and make.

Set Up

Colouring and drawing is perfect for a lunch hour program because it is engaging enough to draw students in, but easy enough that they can still be just as social as usual. I was able to find hundreds of adult-level colouring designs online, and selected a variety that would appeal to teens. I put together an information sheet about Zentangle, created 4 step-by-step sheets on different designs, and made book marks with pattern instructions and practice space. I also printed out some funny “Activity Sheets” from

Downloadable Content / Resources Used:

Zentangle provided the most difficult challenge, as Zentangle as an art form and therapy practice is copyrighted. Instructors must be officially certified to teach the technique. To use the concept properly, I called it “Zentangle Inspired Art” and made a statement of copyright at the footer of the page.

I spread a mix of colouring pages, activity sheets, and Zentangle pages between 4 tables and one cubicle. Pencil crayons and thin markers were scattered between the 4 tables.

Reflections and Result

Ron SwansonAlmost everyone who sat down at one of the tables (whether for class, spare, or lunch) ended up interacting with the activities – approximately 25 students in total. The more complicated colouring sheets were most popularly used. The Ron Swanson sheet was also a hit – students were surprised to see something so silly and topical at the library. We also added googly eyes half way through lunch hour, which were a hilarious hit.

I noticed that the library was especially quiet during the 1st period class, as many of them were actually working on their school work, or else were very focused on filling in a colouring sheet.

I didn’t notice as many students working on Zentangle projects, but several of the handouts I created were taken. I was able to talk to a few people about Zentangle, which peaked interest further. Even if not many students participated with Zentangle at the library, it seems as though several of them will be exploring it on their own.

Skill-building take-aways like these are excellent: at the library we are not only providing opportunities for fun, but we are also encouraging people to learn new things and to challenge themselves.

Future Use

The colouring sheets could be made available all the time, similarly to the children’s sheets. I can see the occasional parent grabbing a complicated sheet for themselves while their kid colours a Dora one.

Additionally, this Munch and Make could be easily repeated in the future. Clean up and set up are simple, and the affect it had on students (aka silently focusing on colouring instead of throwing lettuce at each other) was a nice bonus.

A colouring contest could even be easily orchestrated next time, now that we know there is interest in the student community. Students could pick up a detailed colouring sheet from the info desk, and return it within a week for a chance to win. Prizes could include adult colouring books, or gift certificates to a local art supply store.

All in all, an engaging, simple munch and make.

owlHave you ever incorporated Zentangle or Adult Colouring into a library program?

Concerns about Copyright?
This Library Journal article includes a paragraph on how to access pages with permission to use for programs.

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