EAST GRAND FORKS – The Campbell Library recently added a variety of new non-traditional library materials, called the “Library of Things”, which patrons can use to build skills both for a career or for anyone looking to get started in a new hobby.
Some of the additional materials include cooking and baking supplies, a 3D printer, vinyl cutter, STEM kits, and new online resources.
Public Service Librarian Robyn Benda said the records are made possible by a $5,000 labor grant made possible by the American Rescue Plan Act.
Benda said the library researched the new resources after contacting Northland Community and Technical College to see what skills students need to learn, but may not have the availability of the items themselves.. In addition to those in school, Benda said the material is also for anyone who wants to try a new skill but might not want to spend the money to do so.
“A lot of it is for people to learn new skills if they want to or start a new career,” Benda said. “Without having to buy a whole new set, they can try it out.”
Anyone with a library card can check out a cooking or baking kit with the necessary supplies, including a recipe. One of the kits available is an Asian Wok Cooking Kit which includes instructions on how to make dumplings and the necessary utensils. Librarian Linnea Benton said additional cooking and baking kits are currently being assembled.
Going forward, Benda said the library plans to host cooking clubs so people can try and share recipes with each other.
“The idea is that we’re going a little further and especially with the coming of winter to start a cookbook club where you can take those ‘Library Thing’ kits home,” Benda said.
The new 3D printer and vinyl cutter are available for use in the library. People wishing to use either will need to bring their own filament. Anyone interested in learning more about using the 3D printer and software can attend introductory sessions held at the library on Monday evenings from 5:30-6:30 p.m. where Benton will help introduce 3D printing skills.
“The idea is to keep one of our rooms open on Monday for people to come in, have a look and if they want to try them we would help them learn step by step,” Benda said. .
On November 21, Forkin 3D, part of Valley TechPros, will host an Intro to 3D Printers session at 5:30 p.m. at the Campbell Library and give away a 3D printer to one design winner.
Other kits the library is still working to prepare for patrons include an electronic kit, a knitting kit, and a crochet kit.
In addition to the library’s physical materials, online resources are available on the library’s website. Anyone with a library card now has access to Peterson’s Test and Career Prep, which offers preparation for college entrance exams, professional certification and the US citizenship test. The Chilton Auto Library is also now available fully online to provide step-by-step service and repair procedures, as well as test preparation for certification exams. The Niche Academy offers a variety of tutorials and electronic resources for databases and computer programs.
Benton, who has been a librarian at the Campbell Library for a year, said she would like to continue implementing additional resources she has seen in other libraries, such as sensory and robotic kits. Although Benton and Benda said it depends on available funding.
“Our list is long, it’s just about being able to execute it,” Benda said.