Focus Carlsbad Spring 2021 | Carlsbad Public Library: Collections for the Community

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Libraries are known for their collections. But most of the time people think of books.

While we have many books, both physical and digital, we offer so many other collections. We are more an information hub or community center and we want our collections to reflect that. Recently, we have added more unique items for our patrons to check out. During a normal summer, every Wednesday, a game day is held at the library. Families come to play games and have fun while staying cool from the heat. The pandemic changed how we do everything, including game days. With other alternatives for entertainment closed, we wanted families to be able to connect even more so. To solve this problem, we have created a game and puzzle collection. This allows the families to have their own game-day safely at home. Any library patron can check out a game or puzzle.

This successful collection has lead us to add other unique collections. Next, we added STEAM kits. This collection takes learning out of books and into the hands of our patrons. They all include several pieces that help add to the experience. These kits range from preschool with our “I Love Animals” kit that let our youngest patron see what it would be like a be a veterinarian for a day, to middle school students who can learn how to write code while using our drawing robot in our coding kit. Each kit includes games or hands-on learning, taking a subject off the page and make it come to life all while creating an interest in STEAM subjects.

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We also recently added a circulating technology collection. Thanks to a grant from the New Mexico Humanities Council CARES ACT, we were able to add three mobile Wifi hotspots. This collection allows our patrons to use the internet from any location. During the pandemic, we had to close our doors and this limited access for our patrons. We offer wireless internet around our building, in our park, and in our parking lot but this only added limited access. Patrons need Wifi access anywhere their computer or device is in use. This circulating collection brings access to technology to our patrons and their needs.

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Since these newly added collections have been a success, we hope to add other unique collections, for example: fishing poles, ties for job interviews, or unique baking pans. But, we want our patrons to let us know what collection would meet their needs best. We also hope to expand our unique digital collection by allowing our patrons to share videos, photographs, and create more digital collections for years to come.

Article written by Sarah Jones, Library Director, and originally published in Focus on Carlsbad 2021 spring edition.
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