On Tuesday July 23, the Windham Public Library hosted their weekly, summer, STEM program, Lab Coat Adventures, for kids aged two to eight. This week’s activity involved youngsters building rockets which were launched, propelled by air pressure, upwards of 100 feet in the air!
The program, a brainchild of Diana Currier, the library’s Children’s Room Coordinator, results from attending workshops with other librarians. Currier stated, “We wanted a program that would attract kids. Every kid wants to put on a lab coat. Recently we had a ‘Technology Take-Apart’ for which we provided things such as keyboards, external hard drives, and computer motherboards and had the kids take them apart.”
Sam Cote, the Children’s Librarian stated, “We typically have 20 kids attending the program, each Tuesday. We’ve done interesting things such as ‘Filter for Mars’ for which the kids were provided supplies to build a water filter in the event they were to come across water on Mars.”
Cote shared examples of upcoming Lab Coat Adventures activities including, “Building hurricane houses (houses that can withstand the driving wind and water resulting from a hurricane). We’ll again be doing the watermelon explosion this year, in which the kids see how many rubber bands can be placed around a watermelon before it explodes. Last year’s total was 403!”
In addition to the mind-stimulating, kid-focused, Lab Coat Adventures, the library offers many other programs and activities - for all ages. Cote shared, “On Monday we are having a bubble party for families. On Wednesdays we have a reader’s theater, in which participants read from a picture book and then act out the part. Also, on our calendar, are things such as a snow cone party, a visit from a marine biologist, gentle flow yoga and a chess club, to name a few more. We have something for everyone.”
Ray Marcotte, the library’s Reference/Technology Librarian shared more activities and resources that would entice people of all ages to visit the library.
Marcotte emphasized, “We have a summer reading program for adults, with the theme ‘A Universe of Stories’ in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. The program includes visiting authors and topics including: Astronomy 101, how climate change affects the Maine lobster industry, and a discussion sharing stories about wild coincidences, ESP, and other paranormal events.”
Further, Marcotte shared that the library will have a professional-level, high-powered telescope that can be checked out for up to one week, for stargazing from your own home. “All you need is a library card. This is a great teaching tool and fun to use with your children.”
Marcotte stressed that while they have many programs and activities, all of which are outlined on the library’s website, there are many other resources available to those with a library card. This includes: thousands of books (including all the current best sellers), current versions of popular magazines, DVDs and Audiobooks. We also offer downloadable audiobooks and eBooks via the CloudLibrary.
It doesn’t end there, “For those who don’t have computers, we have eight for adults and four for teens, each in their own area along with a printer,” Marcotte said. “The most under-utilized, best kept secret is that we provide card-holders access (in library and remote) to numerous databases to perform research. An example includes Chilton’s Automotive Repair Manuals.”
For those who just acquired, or need help operating, a new smartphone, tablet, laptop or even downloading photos, the library offers Tech help, on a drop-in basis.
Finally, holders of a Windham Public Library Card have access to materials from approximately seventy other libraries (from universities and public libraries) across the state. A key tool to support this is the online catalog search, prominently available on the library’s website. As Marcotte states, “If we don’t have it, we can get it - at no cost.”
To learn more and/or access the vast resources of the Windham Public Library, visit online at www.windham.lib.me.us/, in person at 217 Windham Center Road or call 207-892-1908. There truly is something for everyone at the Windham Public Library.