Library Services Centre

LSC is proud to announce that we can now provide educational toys and low-level makerspace equipment to Canadian libraries. 

 

We all know how important books and reading are for babies and young children. I don’t need to go into detail about how books are essential for teaching children communication, listening and early literacy skills. Board, Picture and Early Reader books are the stepping-stones to learning and growing.

 

However as important as books are, there are other ways to help children learn. Libraries are changing. Gone are the days when a library was simply an information collection point. Now, libraries are community hubs. A common place for all members of the community to come together, to access unique and imagination-spurring resources. And libraries are starting to branch out and introduce educational toys to help enhance those literacy skills and teach key concepts such as colours, shapes, numbers and sounds etc.

 

We know that not all children learn the same way and having a diverse toy collection in a library is an excellent way to help support children of all abilities and families of all income levels. Toys in a library can focus on auditory, fine motor, gross motor, language, social, tactile, thinking, and visual skills development.

 

LSC is a co-op, and we serve the needs of our clients. So when a client came to us needing help, we listened. They wanted toys that fulfilled certain aged-based skills and educational outcomes. They also needed help cataloguing and processing these unusual items. This is the sort of challenge to which LSC is uniquely suited to provide assistance.

 

Our Selection team immediately set about sourcing educational toys and low-level makerspace equipment. Our cataloguing department put their expertise to work in creating MARC records that will be of value to patrons. And our processing department scoured our suppliers, finding just the right containers to house the toys.

 

Like all LSC products, libraries have a choice to receive the items direct, or have them catalogued and/or processed by us. For processed items, you can chose between a transparent tote making for easy stacking on shelves, or a transparent backpack that can be hung (and kids love to sling over their shoulder). If a library wishes to provide LSC with branded bags or containers of their own, we will process the material in these containers. All processed material is photographed to show all components.

 

The totes can come with a component and skill level checklist inside the container, so patrons and library staff alike can easily check to make sure everything where it should be. For the bags, we have developed a luggage tag that attaches to the bag, featuring the item picture, list of components, and the item barcode.

 

If you are looking for some ideas, check out Pyramid of Play. 5 wooden nesting blocks with fun graphics help with recognition of letters, pictures, colours, numbers and sizes, plus shape shorting, nesting and stacking.

 

Another great toy for toddlers is The Counting and Sorting Farm. Soft round stalls have numbers printed on the bottom with the same number on the stuffed farm critters. These little animals fit inside the little stalls and help teach children to count, match and sort.

 

My First Emotions helps young children learn to recognize and understand different emotions using bright buildable giant LEGO pieces. Children can turn the double-sided face bricks to explore the different facial expressions and use the story bricks to create their own tales around moods and feelings.

 

And finally, with The Shape Sorting Clock, children can match the colours, sort the shapes and solve the puzzle as they manipulate the colour clock and turn the hands. This help to build cognitive and motor skills and lays the groundwork for learning how to tell time.

 

Having accessible toys, games, puzzles and soft books to use both in and out of the library is just another step in helping your library community and the children within it connect, grow and learn more than ever before. 

 

The toys and makerspace equipment available to us is growing, and our Selectors are ready to source new materials at the request of a library. ARPs, based on skill level or material types, can be set-up so that your experiential learning areas are constantly refreshed with new items that we have the expertise to pick and provide.

 

As we develop this service, we will create regular Slists referring to new items that we have added to the catalogue. Currently, if you wish to purchase toys and makerspace equipment from us, please contact Sara Pooley directly. For the time being, please refer to our 2018 Selections for the types and skills available.

 

The 2018 SList is available here.

 

To keep up to date with all of LSC’s latest offerings, please follow LSC on Facebook, on Instagram, and on Twitter, and to subscribe to our new YouTube Channel. We also encourage you to subscribe to the weekly Green Memo, and we hope you check back each and every week on this site for our latest musings on the publishing world.

 

Take care!

 

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