The CLP Main branch in Oakland. Photo courtesy of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (CLP) patrons, prepare to get crafty.

CLP now offers Creativebug, an online collection of more than 1,000 art and craft classes taught by trained instructors. By entering a valid library card number, Pittsburghers will have unlimited free access to the tutorials.

The platform features everything a crafter might need: note-taking space, materials lists, written transcripts, downloadable recipes, patterns and templates. The comments section is moderated by the instructor, providing a safe space for people to ask questions and give feedback. No trolls allowed.

“We added it to our online resources because we’re dedicated to lifelong learning and exploration,” says Hilary Lackner, the institution’s coordinator of eResources. “The craft renaissance is here and the library wants Pittsburgh to join.”

Library officials discovered Creativebug during a conference and evaluated it for several months before launching it March 18.

Local crafters are already using the site to find inspiration or start a company. In the U.S., crafting is a $36 billion business.

Photo courtesy of Creativebug.

Lackner has already taken a doodling course and watched a cookie-making lesson with her children. Other videos include block printing, figure drawing and crocheting. The webinars range in length from a few minutes to a few hours and are geared toward everybody from kids and beginners to seasoned pros.

The library will soon offer live Creativebug programming at its different branches to form an in-person crafting community. The platform subscription comes with full public performance rights, which means CLP can use it to facilitate in-person classes and also in print content.

“We have a lot of content online that we subscribe to: electronic magazines, tutorials and databases that so many people are using,” Lackner says. “We think it’s important to have content that we reviewed and we believe is trustworthy.”

Kristy Locklin is a North Hills-based writer. When she's not busy reporting, she enjoys watching horror movies and exploring Pittsburgh's craft beer scene.