Pre Event Workshops

Mini Steampunk Top Hats: Take & Make Craft for Teens

Take & Make Craft for Teens at the Bloomington Public Library
• May 1-29
• Teens in Grades 6-12
• Registration required; 40 teens max
Teens in Grades 6-12 can get ready for the Cogs & Corsets Steampunk Festival* in Downtown Bloomington with this take-and-make craft!
Registration is required and is limited to 40 teens. A craft kit will be reserved for those who register and will be available for pickup through May 29 at either curbside pickup or the Adult Services Desk. Beginning May 1, registration can be completed online at, by calling 309.590.6168, or in person at the Adult Services Desk.
Craft kits will contain a mini top hat, some metal cogs, and glue. Teens will need to provide any other decorating material they want to use. No online instruction – neither pre-recorded nor live – will be provided.
* Teens who wear their hat to the McLean County Museum of History booth during the Festival will receive a small prize.

Steampunk Coloring Contest – all ages

Steampunk Coloring Contest at the Bloomington Public Library
May 3-28

Age Categories:
• Age 5 and younger
• 6-11 years
• 12-17 years
• Age 18+

Join us in a Steampunk coloring contest to help decorate for the Cogs and Corsets Steampunk Festival!
Anyone can participate, and each picture submitted in the coloring contest doubles as an entry into a drawing for prizes (one submission per person).

There will be a drawing for each of the following groups: kids 5 and younger, 6-11 years, 12-17 years, and age 18+. Prizes include gift cards to local businesses and the Library’s Used Book Shoppe. Winners will be notified on Wednesday, June 2.

Coloring pages can be picked up at the Children’s Services Desk or the Adult Services Desk at the Library. Coloring pages can al

so be accessed and printed from home using these links:

  • Coloring sheet for kids age 0-11 – (children are asked to color the cat)
  • Coloring sheets for those age 12+ – (ages 12+ can color any of the 5 options at this link)
Colored pages are due by 5pm on Friday, May 28!
Coloring pages can be submitted to Library staff at the Children’s Desk (ages 0-11) and the Adult Services Desk (ages 12+), or they can be photographed or scanned and emailed to (for ages 0-11) or (for ages 12+).
Entries will be displayed at the Library until the week of the Steampunk Festival, when they will be moved to storefront windows downtown.

Event Presentations/Workshops

This year we will feature two online lectures the morning of Saturday, June 5.

The Skinny on the Scanties: A History of Women’s Underwear

Join Susan Hartzold, Curator of Collections and Exhibits at the McLean County Museum of History, for a fascinating, illustrated program about what gets put on underneath women’s clothes on Saturday, June 5 at 10:00 a.m.

Ever wondered about the history, purpose, and meaning of women’s undergarments. Well here’s your chance to get a revealing peak at what’s been worn beneath our outer garments through the centuries and the not so hidden meanings they sometimes communicated.

This free webinar is part of the featured events of the annual Cogs and Corsets: A Central Illinois Steampunk Happening. To register for this program, please go to

Urban Transit- Moving in the City

As countries urbanized and industrialized, a dilemma arose—how to move about efficiently. Transit systems were the solution, evolving from horse drawn omnibuses to cable railroads, elevated trains and the ubiquitous clanging trolley car. And throughout this evolution far-fetched schemes developed, political machinations followed, and early transit equipment highlighted craft work, with inlaid wood, elaborate paint schemes and glass ornamentation.  Join us on Saturday, June 5 at 1:00 p.m. for this free, webinar presented by labor historian, Mike Matejka.

Matejka serves on the McLean County Museum of History’s board and is vice-president of the Illinois Labor History Society, along with many other community positions. His father was a St. Louis transit worker, beginning in 1947 as a trolley motorman, and a 50-year member of the Amalgamated Association of Street & Electric Railway Men & Motor Coach Employees of the United States & Canada Division 788.

This free webinar is part of the featured events of the annual Cogs and Corsets: A Central Illinois Steampunk Happening. To register for this program, please go to