The St. Helens Public Library is excited to announce that a unique collection is now available for patrons to check out: the Library of Things.
The Library of Things is a collection of items that moves beyond the traditional materials found at a library. From Kill-A-Watt electricity usage monitors to wi-fi mobile hotspots and 3D pens, the library hopes to provide patrons with access to a collection of items that encourages exploration and learning while saving money.
Any item in the Library of Things is available for checkout for 21 days with an adult library card. Items cannot be renewed. Juvenile card holders and Passport Program card holders are not able to check out Library of Things items at this time.
Items available for checkout include wi-fi mobile hotspots, Kill-A-Watt electricity usage monitors, Snap Circuits, Makey Makey kits, a Dash coding robot, 3D pens, littleBits kits, a bento making kit, a toddler science center kit, and more.
Many of the items available in the Library of Things have been used in past St. Helens Make It. programs which provide science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs, along with do-it-yourself and maker movement programs, to youth and teens.
“We know that not everyone can come to a program at the Library, and we’ve also noticed that lots of our Make It. participants want to keep exploring and learning with a particular tool or technology after the class is over,” youth librarian Gretchen Kolderup said. “We’ve added a bunch of new items to our collections that are aimed at young people who want to get creative and explore new technology.”
The Library of Things isn’t just for kids. The library plans to add future items that are targeted for teens and adults. If anyone is interested in checking out certain items from the library - think anything from baking and kitchenware items to instruments, tools, electronics, board games, and recreation kits - contact the library with your ideas.
Almost all of the items in St. Helens’ Library of Things were purchased with grant funding from the Northwest STEM Hub. Other items were added thanks to donations from individuals and the Northwest Early Learning Hub and money donations from community members.
“The St. Helens Public Library believes that this new collection fits with the Library’s mission to provide the community with optimal access to tools that promote and encourage lifelong learning, self-development, and life enhancement,” officials said.