library kit

The Montrose Regional Library is introducing the Traveling Trunk kit, available through a collaboration with the Black Canyon of then Gunnison National Park. (Submitted photo)

Do you ever wonder what your local library has to offer patrons besides books and movies?

Even with 10 guesses, you would probably not be able to name all of the cool, educational, useful, and fun things the Montrose Regional Library has for a cardholder to check out to enjoy.

Recently, there has been a shift in public libraries to provide useful and necessary items — beyond books and movies — to its community of users.

This new platform is called the “Library of Things” and could include anything from tools and sewing machines to tablets and toys.

The Montrose Regional Library has had kits for circulation to our patrons for years but they were simple items meant for early literacy, perhaps a book and small toy to engage a preschooler.

Now, though, the number and types of kits available through our catalogue are growing. For the fifth year, we have the Check Out State Park Backpacks that allow a patron entry into any one of our beautiful Colorado state parks. We also now have Launchpad Playaways that are pre-loaded tablets full of early literacy games and books. We have a telescope backpack from our time with the NASA @My Library grant, plus several more kits full of coding devices, like the Code and Go Robot Mouse or the Think and Learn Code-a-Pillar, that will be ready very soon.

I am pleased to announce the latest kit we have available is The Traveling Trunk. This kit has been made available through a collaboration with the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and its Education Program Coordinator Laura Tomcek.

This new trunk is full of valuable information and hands on science lessons about mystery rocks and their density, leading to an understanding of the rock cycle and geologic story of the Black Canyon. This kit would be an excellent addition to a science curriculum for upper elementary and middle school students.

If you are interested in any of the above kits, just stop by the Youth Services Department and chat with a librarian.

Patrons will need a permanent library card in good standing to borrow a kit and the kits check out for one week. Requests and holds are not available on any of the kits; they are first come, first served check-out basis.

One last thing you may not be aware of with your local Montrose library. When we do not carry an item in our catalogue, we will do our very best to assist you in finding whatever you may need.

We have established collaborations and connections with many organizations in town that offer educational kits to borrow as well as expertise in various fields to help should you find yourself in a curriculum slump.

Tina Meiners is the head of Youth and Outreach Services at Montrose Regional Library

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