by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian
In recent months, the library had a suggestion box at the front desk. A couple of people suggested we get some kits to check out. Good news: kits are already available to order in our library system! We don’t have them onsite because we don’t have space to store them, but a variety of kits can be delivered here for no charge for you to borrow.
One suggestion was for kits for preschools and families with young children, including things like activities, music, and books. Many kits like this are available in our library catalog. The easiest way to locate many of them is to search for “Learning Kit” as a title. There are 56 of these! They range from “Learning Kit: ABC” to “Learning Kit: Winter.” These kits usually include a collection of books organized around a theme, games, activity sheets, videos, audio recordings, and sometimes toys and crafts. A number of them are older, with VCR tapes and audiocassettes in the kits, but some are newer, with DVDs and CDs.
To find another group of similar kits, do an author search for “Once Upon a Reader.” We have these kits because of a statewide library program a few years ago. One kit is called “Cow’s Vacation Scrapbook,” and it includes a stuffed animal, a copy of the book Moo by David LaRochelle, and a binder with spots for kids to draw, write stories, and add photos of their vacations. Another kit called “Milk and Cookies Storytime” contains five different books, a CD, a tactile activity, and reproducible sheets and instructions for the adult preparing the storytime. Finally, the “Take-Home Play Kit” includes a copy of the book Moo, five toys, and information for parents and caregivers on how to support early literacy with specific practices and skills.
There are a few other kits that are a bit more challenging to find in the catalog. One is “Dazzling Dave’s Tips and Tricks for Yo-Yo Play.” It contains two yo-yos, a pack of replacement strings, a DVD, and an instruction sheet for learning to use a yo-yo.
Another is called “Oral History Kit,” which contains two digital voice recorders, two microphones, two pairs of headphones, and instructions. The kit is intended for people to use for interviewing family members and other people to record their memories.
There is also a Zumba kit called “Zumba Fitness,” which includes toning sticks along with DVDs and a booklet.
Another suggestion we got in the box at the front desk was for book club kits. Our library system offers these, too! To locate them, search “Book club in a bag” as a title, and you’ll find 45 of them, from A Crooked Number by Nathan Jorgenson to Wide Open Spaces by Cadee Brystal. Some are children’s books and some are for adults, and the kits all have multiple copies for a book club to share. Some include discussion guides.
For more title options for book club kits, search “book club in a tub” in Plum Creek Library System’s online catalog, and then limit it to item type “book club kit” on the sidebar. You won’t be able to order these directly through the Plum Creek catalog to be delivered here, but we do have a cooperative agreement with them to share our book club kits. Talk to a staff member if you’d like to order one.
I hope that you’ll order some of these resources if you can use them. There’s more available than what you see on the shelf! Our staff will be glad to assist you.