Library Services Centre

There’s a common misconception (among those who don’t use them) that libraries are a product of a bygone era, good only for books and fairly useless in today’s high-tech age.  This isn’t true, as anyone who’s stepped foot in a library in the past decade can tell you.  Beyond print books, libraries offer audiobooks, AV like DVDs and video games, and even toys and games. 


They are community hubs where you can learn how to write a resume, how to use a computer, and how to create art ranging from knitting to 3D printing.  Libraries provide a space for anyone to use, no matter their income; offering study groups, tutoring lessons, children’s activities, or just a warm place out of a cold Canadian winter.


One way that libraries are changing to meet current technical needs is by offering kits that can be borrowed just like a book.  These kits can contain a multitude of things, including educational toys, STEAM activity books, and technological gadgetry like the Raspberry Pi and solar robots.  Kits can also be more party-based, like with green screen props; focused on music like the ukulele; or even a collection of family games like a kid-friendly magnetic darts board.


Discovery kits are a good way for libraries to help support the school curriculum in their community.  Kits can cover a wide range of subjects, from chemistry to astronomy to minerals, crystals, and rocks.  You can even go on a dinosaur dig in the comfort of your own home!  The hands-on aspects of these kits help kids learn by doing, but for those that are more reader-inclined, discovery kits also include print books.


Steve Spangler's Super Cool Science Experiments for Kids / pictures of simple science experiments engulfed in lightningFortunately, science and art are perennial topics, with books published each season for both kids and adults.  In Steve Spangler’s Super Cool Science Experiments for Kids, children 8-12 can find dozens of experiments ranging from the world’s simplest motor to an artificial lung to eggshell geodes.  Instructions are simple to follow, cleanup is easy, and each project includes an explanation of how it works and a fun Did You Know? factoid.


For those with mathematical minds, DK is publishing Math Maker Lab in July. Suitable for ages 10 and up, the book offers 25 creative projects and experiments designed to make learning about math fun. Projects include a times-table dreamcatcher, a multiplication machine, and the ability to draw impossible objects.


Crayola Create it Yourself / two children displaying home made craftsArtier kids may be interested in Crayola’s Create It Yourself, with a colourful project for every week of the year organized by the seasons.  Projects include a DIY fish tank using moldable air-drying clay for the fish, a puffy paint rainbow, and melted crayon ornaments.

Adults can get in on the fun by working on projects with their kids (or by themselves; no judgement, says the woman with a 2-foot cardboard T. rex on her side table) or by looking for kits geared towards adults at their local library.  These kits can include textile art like quilting or cross-stitch; gardening complete with seed packets; or even tool kits for DIY home repairs.


Libraries are a vital part of the community.  They provide safe spaces, community outreach, and, yes, books.  Libraries are ever-evolving and working to support their communities, so if you haven’t been to one in a while, take a trip there and see what they have to offer. 


For clients looking to supplement their kits, LSC offers SLIST 44667: 82 titles on science, math, textile art, and more!  Kits themselves can be created by special request; please contact our new ARP Coordinator Julie Kummu, or Selection and Customer Service Manager Jamie Quinn.


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



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