With a summer library program theme about night time and dreaming, some libraries might be considering making dream catchers as a craft project, or using them as a decoration in the library.
Many thanks to Julie from Cumberland for pointing out some of the problems with this idea. Dream catchers originated with the Ojibwe people, and are a traditional craft with spiritual meaning. In recent years, dream catchers have become very popular and can be found everywhere from convenience stores to tattoos to Ellison die cuts to jewelry.
Even though they seem ubiquitous, they are not really intended to be a cute craft project or decoration. Julie mentioned that an Ojibwe acquaintance of hers was very troubled by the idea of this. When we appropriate others' culture without really thinking about what it means to them, it can be offensive--and can send kids the message that it's not important to take the traditions and sacred parts of another culture seriously. Native American people run into this, and into multiple stereotypical images of themselves, nearly everywhere they turn. Maybe this year, the library won't be one of those places.