Take It Make It Kits at the Library

Public libraries across the nation are transforming into so much more than silent a warehouse of books.  The Stillwater Public Library has a new offering called “Take It/ Make It” invention kits.  Patrons can check out and take home a variety of gadgets and learning equipment that helps teach electronic circuitry, computer programming and more.  Some examples of kits include Raspberry Pi, LittleBits and MaKey MaKey. The Stillwater Public Library is the first public library in Oklahoma to offer these types of kits to be taken home by patrons.  

The kits were acquired through a competitive STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) grant from the Oklahoma Department of Libraries, and the library’s proposal was one of just 21 in 75 proposals to win.  Each kit is packaged in a carry out container and provides all the parts and instructions for making several basic projects, as well as a book related to the project components.  Many more project ideas are available online via the individual manufacture and educational websites.

Since the public library’s mission is to provide resources for information and knowledge, the “Take It/ Make It” kits are a fun and interactive way to introduce people of all ages to new scientific concepts.  As technology advances at an ever rapid speed, it is a great opportunity to support hands on learning of concepts that will give children a better grasp of our ever changing world.  Exploring the infinite uses of the items in the Take It/ Make It kits, allow children to problem solve, think analytically and be creative.

The library felt it was important for the kits be checked out and taken home, instead of just used in library programming as most libraries are currently doing.  By being able to take the items home, families are able to work and play together on projects, children can choose what project interests them and individuals can go further in depth with learning how things work. There are projects that tie to numberous interests. For example, the LittleBits Synth kit might interest a child with a love of music or the Finch Robot can be attached to a pencil and be used to draw by an aspiring artist.  There are so many possibilities!

Do you have younger children at home? You can still encourage exploration and innovation in a variety of ways.  Check out the book Tinkerlab by Rachelle Doorley or visit her website tinkerlab.com.  Kids can be makers and inventors at any age!

As the community engages and explores the various kits, the librarians plan to increase the number and variety of kits as new products are developed. Are you ready to explore something new at the library?