Off the Shelf Library News - October 2015

Originally published in Seaway News Volume 29, Issue 53

With the arrival of Fall, it also brings with it many beginnings: the beginning of a new season, the beginning of a new school year, and the beginning of hockey! This idea of beginnings also comes into play at the SD&G County Library. One of the buzz phrases surrounding libraries right now is “maker spaces” and here at the Library, we’re getting ready to embark on our own journey into this maker space realm.

Over the last year, staff at the Library have been researching and preparing maker space kits ideal for program use at our branches. With eighteen branches to consider, these kits need to not only be portable, but they also have to encourage the users to explore, learn and create! And so, now that Fall is upon us, we’re beginning to introduce these kits and programs. Our maker space kits range from basic, low technology kits to complex, high tech programs. Both are designed to challenge patrons of all ages to use their imaginations, their creativity and their intellect. Now, what exactly do we have to offer?

Let’s start with our low-tech kits – we’ve got a button maker that is perfect for the artist in everyone. Whether you want to create your own design by hand or use drawings from the computer, this maker kit lets everyone add a flash of personal flare. As well, we’ve invested in sets of littleBits; electronic kits that introduce users to the world of circuits and motors. These kits use the idea of building blocks to let individuals design and invent things that can move, light up or manipulate other objects.

We’ve also explored maker space kits that may involve more advanced knowledge of technology. For example, come in and try out our Makey-Makey. This kit uses everyday objects to control programs on your computer. And then there is the LEGO Mindstorms - the robot you’ve always dreamed of creating (with all the classic fun of LEGO)! This Fall is the perfect time to visit one of our branches and join us as we begin to offer more and more of these exciting maker space programs. Talk to your branch staff to see what they have planned, or contact Susan Wallwork, Communications & Marketing Librarian, if you have a group that might be interested in setting up a special program for your organization. Cheers to new beginnings!

For more information, please contact Susan Wallwork, Communications & Marketing Librarian at SD&G County Library at or (613) 936 – 8777 ext. 226.