Did you know that you can borrow a telescope from our local library, or use their 3D printer? You can also borrow classroom-size sets of robotics and invention kits. It’s free! And it’s only one of the awesome new things available to the public in the Nevada County Community Library’s new Technology Lending Library.
Bringing Information to All People
Andrew Carnegie devoted much of his fortune to public libraries in the United States because he wanted to “bring books and information to all people.” Today, public libraries are carrying out that very same mission, even as the medium of conveying information is evolving. Lisa Nowlain, Youth Librarian, explains: “We provide things for free to people who might not otherwise have access to them,” she said. “Libraries used to provide books, when books were too expensive. Now it includes technology.”
Check out a Technology Set for Your Classroom
The technology sets can be checked out for a month at a time. Teachers, after school program administrators, and youth workers who want to encourage young people to learn about technology can check out electronics invention kits, digital art tools, and robotics programming kits. The kits are appropriate for kids of all ages. Nowlain wants to provide a wide variety of technologies to meet the needs of the community: “There’s lots of interest in robotics right now,” she said. “We want to support that growth. I am interested in any programs that build creativity and problem solving skills and help kids connect with each other and adults.”
Technology Drop-in Programs at the Library
All you need is a library card. The library offers demos for people who feel intimidated by technology, or might not know how to use the kits – they’ll even come to your classroom. Individual kids age five and up can participate in free, monthly, drop-in technology programs. These programs feature different Technology Lending Library kits at both the Grass Valley and Madelyn Helling library branches. January’s workshop featured digital art with Wacom Tablets and iPads. In February, kids used Kibo robots to code without a screen. In March, participants will experience virtual reality through Google Expeditions. There is also a Family Tech Night in March for families to learn more about the various tech tools that the library has to offer.
The Technology Lending Library started up last September. It was made possible through a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant. For more information about the Tech Lending Library tools and programs, visit the Nevada County Community Library’s Tech Lending Library page.