Curious and Curiouser…New Kits for the New Year!

CSL Kits - Tools for Library Staff

It’s been awhile since we posted an update here on the CSL Kits program, but I am excited to share that (towards the end of 2023) we released three new kits and re-released an updated crowd favorite. Head to the CSL Kits website to browse the whole collection, and see below for the updates!

The Curiosity Cabinet (aka the Curio Kit) is packed with interactive objects to fascinate your patrons. View contents.

Curiosity Cabinet

An interactive pop-up exhibit designed to intrigue. Contains real fossils, replicas, physics toys, and much more!

Intriguing, funny, perplexing, inspiring, novel, surprising, revealing, sometimes silly… this is our modern-day traveling version of the traditional cabinet of curiosities.

A cabinet of curiosities is a collection of interesting and unusual items. Dating back to the 16th century, they once functioned as an early version of the public museums we take for granted today, as museums as we know them were only really realized in the 19th and 20th centuries. Before then, wealthy enthusiasts collected all their “curiosities” in a designated room (often a sort of study known as a cabinet). The room might have been kept private or was a place to bring invited guests to view artworks, antiquities, artifacts, and natural specimens or “oddities” from faraway places.

From the old to the new (and from the sublime to the delightfully kitsch), the kit of curiosities’ uniting theme is science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM), making for a unique opportunity to engage today’s patrons.

Each Quest 2 kit contains two VR headsets and an iPad to “cast” what the headset user is seeing, enabling for fun demonstrations. View full contents.

Virtual Reality – Meta Quest 2

These two kits bring you a newer version of the Meta (formerly Oculus) virtual reality headset. Unlike our previous VR kit, each kit contains two headsets!

Each Quest 2 is loaded with apps/experiences/games, but there’s plenty of room to download and explore the great variety of apps (many of them offered for free) from Meta.

Kit 1 contains 10 copies of This I Believe II and Kit 2 contains 10 copies of The Moth Presents: All These Wonders. View full contents.

Stories and Storytelling for Adult Emerging Readers

Over the course of three months, take your patrons on a storytelling journey that will help them with their English language skills. This kit is meant to be a starting point to help libraries reach and support different populations within their communities. It includes activities for adults experiencing intimidation, fear, or anxiety about their literacy skills, reading fluency, or English language speaking skills

These two resource kits were developed from two distinct needs:

  1. The need to support adults who are developing their English language skills (usually referred to as Limited English Proficient, or LEP, individuals) because English is not their first language and they are not in formal education settings where English language skills are taught.
  2. The need to support adults for whom English is the first and, often, only language spoken but for whom literacy, reading fluency, and perhaps general communication skills are not very strong. These adults are either unable to or uninterested in seeking formal education in college settings. They may not be interested in workforce readiness. These adults can have some underlying learning disability that perhaps was never diagnosed or these adults can have just never had the desire to practice reading.

Each kit is intended to provide libraries three things:

  • A book club/ book discussion group set for your library (10 copies for patrons to borrow over their time as a program participant)
  • A recommended program outline and additional materials for each of the included programs (there are three programs included in this kit)
  • Ideas for doing something else entirely! or for expanding the activities

Get the full details and download the activities on the CSL Kits website.

The materials included in this mini-kit can be placed in a highly-trafficked area of your library, in silent reading spaces, on tables with a display of books or materials. View full contents.

“Let ‘Em Be”: Passive Programs for Adults (updated!)

The “Let ‘Em Be”: Passive Programs for Adults Mini-Kit was created to support libraries with adult users and visitors to engage adults with activities that can be done on-site or taken to be used elsewhere. This kit is relevant to and available for use all year long, regardless of themed activities or programs. CSL understands that librarians and library workers have a lot to do and creating puzzles or curating passive program materials can take up a lot of time and effort when those are already in such high demand. By providing passive programming materials for adult visitors, we hope to make your lives a little easier and provide your adult visitors something to keep their minds active and have fun while doing it.

The themes of the activities and materials within the “Let ‘Em Be”: Passive Programs for Adults Mini-Kit are community, kindness, and togetherness. This kit was inspired by the 2024 Collaborative Summer Learning Program’s (CSLP) theme: Adventure Begins at the Library. Includes adult services facts and reading lists from the CSLP 2024 Adult Manual.

Find out more

CSL kits are bundled tools and resources that enable Colorado’s library workers and other educators to provide exciting programming and solve problems – right out of a box! Note, we lend out kits for at least two months at a time and you can renew as long as no other holds are waiting. The above kits each have two copies and may already be checked out. If a kit is currently checked out, you can always place a hold and the kit will make its way to you as soon as possible. Find out more:

Michael Peever
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