When you work in Youth Services, shortening days and cooler temperatures mean that Fall Programs are almost starting. Here at the Ada Community Library, I'm getting excited about my new Robot Creations program for ages 6-12.
Robot Creations was inspired by my first success with a technology-themed program for youth, Gadget Garage. In the Garage, school-age kids took apart various broken electronics equipment (cell phones, computers, VCRs, and so forth) and learned a little something about technology along the way (or so I hoped).
Enter LEGO. After reading a Wired magazine article about an upcoming upgrade to LEGO's original robot-constructing Mindstorms system, I knew it would be the perfect base for a redesigned Gadget Garage program. (CJ over at Technobiblio thought so too in "Lego Mindstorms and Getting the Kids".)
We managed to set aside some programming funds to purchase two sets of the brand new LEGO Mindstorms NXT. I hope that having such cool "toys" at the library will both bring in new younger patrons (and their parents) as well as demonstrate that libraries can (and must) branch out to offer exciting new and untraditional programs.
Stay tuned for future updates about how my new Robot Creations program goes over. Any other librarians out there trying unusual new programs? Please comment and share your ideas and successes with us!