The Kids' Activity Kit program will help our library provide activities and promote learning while we are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are currently six different categories of kits that have been cataloged and circulated in our community.
Each kit comes in a freezer or AV bag and is labeled with items that the patron can keep as well as items that need to be returned. There are craft kits available as well as kits that promote fine motor and important skills for early childhood education.
Activities include paint-by-numbers, watercolors, origami and duct tape crafts.
We have a building filled with supplies (including a makerspace). Why not share the wealth? The planning process involved walking around our workshop and makerspace and seeing what we could provide that was fun and easy to sanitize once returned.
Card games were vetoed because there are so many "parts" that can be easily lost. Paintbrushes and rolls of duct tape were ideal. Patrons would keep any paper instructions or finished projects and just send us back these materials that we could sanitize and quarantine, just like our book returns.
Our marketing coordinator, Jeanna Hann, began promoting the activity kits on the day we began taking orders for curbside pickup. The kits are included in the online order form on our website. Patrons can also request them over the phone.
North Manchester Public Library is a small but innovative library. We like to think outside of the box and keep the attention of our community. Last month we gained a lot of momentum with our #NMPLundercover hashtag and Buzzfeed article . Every community deserves an energetic and fun library!
These kits contain only items and supplies we have in-house so no extra funding was required. NMPL would much rather lend its materials then have them sit unused in an empty library.
The kits are set up on a rack at the main circulation desk. All of our clerks received information on what they are and how they will be circulated so they are aware when patrons come for pickup.
As of right now, almost all of the kits are checked out or on hold. It's very exciting to see our materials that were previously purchased for programming still being utilized by our patrons even when it can't happen in the building.
Our director, Diane Randall, was very much in support of the activity kits to keep the children engaged with the library.
Keep it simple. Don't hand out a kit that has a ton of parts that need to be returned. If you can hand out kits in small grocery bags that need nothing returned, even better!
About This Library
The North Manchester Public Library serves the community of North Manchester, which has a population of approximately 6,260. The library district is the corporation limits of the town of North Manchester. The North Manchester Public Library is proud to support a collection that includes books, magazines, microfilms, large-print books, newspapers, selected government materials of local and historical interest, audiobooks, music, DVDs, databases and more.