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Library to offer STEM kits

BY DAAIYAH LATHAM

 

Children in Butler County will now have access to STEM-related activities.

The Greenville-Butler County Public Library will be providing STEM-related Maker Kits, starting this week for ages ranging from 5 to 8. 

“We’re looking at ways to do more outreach during the current pandemic and, while we’ve wanted to do Maker Kits for some time now, this was an excellent time to launch this program,” said Kevin Pearcey of the library.

The kits consist of both books and kits focused on a variety of STEM-related applications including robotics, circuits, art, and soft crafts. 

The program is an extension of what libraries across the country doing. 

The program is “moving beyond the traditional materials you associate with libraries (books, DVDs, etc.) and implementing unique materials for circulation that both serve to educate and entertain library patrons,” Pearcey said. 

Currently, patrons who check out these kits must demonstrate a 3-month record of responsible library use. Checking out items, bringing them back, paying for any lost books, etc. 

The library usually does not place circulation restrictions on their collection, but because of the expense of acquiring the kits, books, bags, etc., officials said they felt there needed to be some barrier there to prevent abuse of the library’s generous circulation policies. 

“Other libraries have similar policies in place. And we are always reviewing our policies with regards to materials, so we may find that we can drop this restriction at a later date,” said Pearcey. 

They have a few kits for ages 5+, the most being 8+. There will be seven kits total. They will be adding more, some for ages 3+, in the next month or so because of the interest they have received.

The library plans on keeping Maker Kits as an ongoing program.