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Crook County Library is checking out building and robotics kits to support kids' STEM learning and exploration

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - April WitteveenJuly 1 may seem like an average summer day, but to many municipal organizations, the date signals the start of the next fiscal year. As our budget workbooks flip to a new page, the Crook County Library looks forward to bringing our patrons some exciting new spaces and services.

You'll need to pardon our dust for a couple of weeks in July as we finish refreshing our children's room. The large, heavy and outdated computer stations and cumbersome tables are going to be replaced by modern color-coordinated tables and chairs. This will allow youth and their caregivers to find comfortable seats to access technology, read a good book, or do schoolwork. We have some additional seating that will bring a feeling of nature into the space; imagine browsing our new kids' books while seated on a slithering snake, or take a stuffed tree stump into our picture book area to find just the right story.

With the lifting of pandemic restrictions on June 30, we are working to return our computer lab to its full capacity. Patrons can access six desktop machines as well as check out our in-house laptops as we reopen seating throughout the building.

On the digital front, the library is very pleased to launch two new services that will bring a wide variety of content to library cardholders: Hoopla Digital kicks off on July 1, and we start our subscription with Scholastic Teachables on Aug. 1. Hoopla is filled with movies, television shows, eBooks and e-Audio, comics and graphic novels – all available on a no-wait basis. Crook County Library patrons can check out up to five items from Hoopla each month. You will find Hoopla titles listed in our regular online catalog, and when you go to check them out, you'll be routed to Hoopla's homepage to set up your account before proceeding. All titles can be streamed, or you can download titles and then access them without needing to be on a Wi-Fi connection, a great option for long car rides or plane trips!

If you are a parent, teacher or caregiver, you'll want to stay tuned for Scholastic Teachables! Teachables is a resource filled with curriculum-based, printable activities for ages PreK through eighth grade. Literacy building games, mini-books, holiday-themed activities, and so much more, all from a trusted name in education.

We are also pleased to present a new Library of Things collection. Modern libraries are circulating so much more than traditional materials, and now Crook County Library is checking out building and robotics kits to support kids' STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) learning and exploration.

We have a variety of Duplo kits for younger patrons, including an introduction to computer coding with Duplo Coding Express and creative storytelling with Duplo StoryTales. We have two Botley the Coding Robot kits to check out, a fun introduction to robotics. For those ready for more advanced work, there are Lego Boost Robot kits. You can find our Library of Things display rack in our children's area next to the new books. These new kits were made possible by a Facebook Community Grant, and we look forward to expanding the collection in the future.

We hope to see you soon and share all that our library has to offer!

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