Girls playing with Dash the robot

Check Out Some “Thing” New

I will venture a guess that there are very few readers of this blog who are not avid library users. So, you know all about the huge selection of books, DVDs, music CDs, audiobooks, magazines and video games we offer. Likely you are aware of our downloadable media collections: hoopla and OverDrive e-books, e-audiobooks, and video; Freegal streaming music and downloads you can keep; Flipster downloadable magazines; and Freading always-available e-books.

Underwater photo taken with GoPro camera.

Underwater photo taken with GoPro camera.

Maybe you’ve also heard about some of the databases and services you can access online with your library card. We offer premiere online learning from Lynda.comBook Link personal reading suggestions and genre guides; NoveList readers’ research database; the Auto Repair Reference Center; residential and business contact information, employment research and marketing databases from AtoZ and ReferenceUSA; Pronunciator language courses; Consumer Reports magazine database; HeritageQuest genealogy service and other genealogical resources; local history information; and oh yes, so much more.

Girl With a Pearl Earring art print.

Girl With a Pearl Earring art print.

Now for some “things” you may not know. There is a growing trend in public libraries to provide things you might want to try out before purchasing, or simply borrow instead of having to buy. L.E. Phillips Memorial Public library has offered some unexpected things for many years, and we are adding more all the time:

  • Art prints to hang on your wall.
  • Bike locks, available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Check Out desk.
  • Energy meters to measure how much energy your appliances use.
  • iPad Air tablets.
  • Nature backpacks, with tools, games and books to explore the outdoors.
  • Themed story kits, with books, props and toys to help kids learn through play.
  • Wi-Fi hotspots that connect your devices to the Internet.

Since the opening of our Dabble Box makerspace last year, we have started to loan out kits and equipment for people to explore technology, the arts, and DIY projects. You can now borrow:

Nature backpack.

Nature backpack.

  • Canning kit, featuring a Presto pressure canner.
  • Cubelets, an easy-to-use robot building kit that inspires kids.
  • Dash & Dot, a pair of robots you can operate using an app on your phone or tablet.
  • GoPro cameras that allow you to take professional looking photos and videos, even under water.
  • Electric keyboards: Yamaha Portable Grand and Yamaha P71B.
  • Knitting kits with books and tools.
  • Makey Makey invention kits you can use to turn everyday objects into keys for your computer.
  • Raspberry Pi with CanaKits and books to help you use this credit card-sized computer.
  • Squishy Circuits which use play dough to teach the basics of electrical circuitry.
  • Ukuleles. Nuff said.
Yamaha keyboard.

Yamaha keyboard.

In 2018, the Dabble Box will be offering even more maker kits, so stay tuned! If you have a question about any “thing,” or a suggestion for new kits, leave a comment, email us at librarian@eauclaire.lib.wi.us or call 715-839-5004.

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