Dream Big, Succeed Big
The Marion County Public Library System has been very excited to roll out STEM education and training this past year to our communities through the introduction of our digital bookmobile. We knew that to make the biggest impact, we had to dream, design, plan, and implement in a big way.
Our goal was to showcase the library’s strength in providing instruction on emerging trends in technological learning. To attract our community to our library locations, we decided to implement large-scale, interactive programming for all ages with 3D printing, robotics, and computer coding. We also utilized our bookmobiles that travel to schools, senior centers, and daycares to hold shorter, small-scale demonstrations to engage our communities as close as possible to where they lived.
We armed our core group of excited staff, eager to learn and teach, with enough tools to demonstrate a program with a maximum of 20-30 participants. Through grants and sponsorships with our local Friends groups, we purchased classroom kits of most of our supplies, tools, robots, tablets, and 3D printers.
We feel we have been successful in introducing these new technologies and skills with the popularity of our current classes and the requests to introduce new programs. By dreaming big, and with a lot of planning, hard work, and enthusiasm, we are ready to tackle new projects and layer on different STEM products to reinforce and grow our goals.
– Erika Reed, Library Director, Marion County Public Library System