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The CSL Kits program is a collection of tools and resources aimed at providing library staff with easy-to-use, interesting, and fun programming ideas and technology. The collection, which is curated and developed by State Library staff, includes dozens of kits, many with multiple copies. I’m excited to update you on some new additions that have gone live in the past year or so. For information on all the kits, visit cslkits.cvlsites.org.
The Climate Crisis Kit is an opportunity for people to connect with this most pressing problem of our times. The kit was developed for helping people of all ages and backgrounds gain clear understanding of a problem that feels overwhelming to many people. This understanding is crucial to making the real positive change that is desperately needed. The overarching message of this kit is that together, we can overcome the worst threats of the climate crisis, but it requires a critical mass of people to respond to the threat. As the effects of global heating become increasingly apparent in local Colorado communities, libraries will undoubtedly be tasked with responding to unforeseen human needs, as they did with the pandemic. We have an opportunity to improve lives by transitioning to a more sustainable future, and libraries offer a community hub for bringing people together to solve problems.
Included in the kit are the facts about the climate crisis backed up by overwhelmingly convincing scientific data. The kit does not attempt to “both sides” the issue, as the time for debating the reality of the climate crisis is far past. Instead, there are resources for having productive conversations on the climate, point-by-point responses to denialism, information on a broad range of relevant topics, and an abundance of resources for gaining up to date knowledge on the topic. Beyond this, a variety of thoughtful activities are designed to increase the consciousness of the climate crisis and promote personal buy-in, with a particular focus on collective action, improving infrastructure, maintaining mindfulness, and taking tangible actions in our daily lives and local communities. Library staff will find ideas for improving the library’s response to the crisis, as well as a lot of material for setting up temporary displays and promoting patron awareness and engagement in the topic.
This kit was designed for small and rural libraries who want to host a fun and educational math program without the expense of buying equipment or the resources to create lessons. With this kit you will be able to create delicious hot chocolate beverages which can be consumed, given as a gift, or used for fundraising.
Successful reentry back into the community is a difficult and complex process. Each person who is released from incarceration will have different needs, resources, and experiences impacting their success. This simulation gives us a window into the realities and obstacles of coming home after incarceration.
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. 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. This mini-kit is intended for adult services librarians and library workers who would like to engage visitors and users with independent, self-determined activities at little-to-no cost.
The Having Conversations @ the Library Resource Kit was created to give libraries the tools needed to host and facilitate community conversation programming and events. Inviting community members to visit the library for facilitated conversations demonstrates for our communities the way libraries serve as more than just storehouses for books. Hosting community conversations at your library will signal to your community members that they belong in the library, that they matter, and that you center them in your work. Libraries can be where strangers meet and realize that they’re neighbors. Libraries can be where people become the resource, not just the people who use the resources. Libraries can be where connections form, and where relationships blossom into broader understanding, care, compassion, and civility.
The Chess Tournament Kit was created to provide library staff with all the equipment and resources they need to bring the world of chess into the library setting. We hope it will spark community interest in a game that has experienced a huge boom in recent years. The kit can be used to host formal-type tournaments, or it can be used for the basis of a display, as well as passive programming for patrons to use casually. You will find 10 tournament size chess sets with weighted pieces, chess clocks, a variety of other chess sets, as well as books and training materials that will benefit people at all levels of skill.
This kit is very simple and self-explanatory – classic games! Not all of them are technically “board” games, but they all qualify as “classic” in our book! Plan a games night type event at your library or have them available for passive programming. The kit includes rules books, card decks and dice and some of the most popular family games ever: Monopoly, The Game of Life, Clue, Sorry!, Pictionary, Guess Who, Mouse Trap, Risk, Uno, Go, Battleship, Scrabble, Kerplunk, Chess, Checkers, Backgammon, Mancala, Cribbage, Pachisi, Chinese Checkers, Dominoes, Trivial Pursuit, Jenga, Yahtzee, Connect 4, and Candy Land.
We are constantly leveraging the skills and expertise of CSL staff to bring new kits into the collection. Here are some that we have in the works and which we hope to release soon. Always check the kits website to see the currently available kits.
- Solar Science
- Spanish Language Boardgames
- Ecosystems (which will be the first module kit to accompany the core Climate Crisis Kit)
- Classic Lawn Games (like the board games, but for outdoors)
- Escape Room Adventure (materials that help library staff make their own escape room challenges)
- More VR kits (which will use the newer generation Oculus)
- Memory/dementia (for people suffering with dementia and their caregivers)
- Visual Impairment Awareness
- Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (advice, resources, and recommendations for staff)
- Mini collections/displays (for example, gems/minerals)
Collaboration makes us all so much stronger. We would love to hear from library workers on suggestions for existing or planned kits, or kits we haven’t even thought of yet! So, if you are a subject matter expert, or if you feel you have a good suggestion, please contact Kit Support at KitSupport@coloradovirtuallibrary.org .
How to Borrow a Kit
To borrow a kit, you need to be enrolled in the CSL Kits Borrowing Program. Your “Kit account” is the same as your CSL Book Club account if you participate in that program. If you already have a CSL Book Club user number and password, skip to step 4 below.
- Fill out and submit the enrollment form.
- You will receive an email with a user number and password for your library within a short time.
- Go to our online resource catalog at https://csl.catalog.aspencat.info/
- Login into your CSL account using the “Login” button at the top right of the screen.
- Use the Search bar, or browse for “Resource Kit” to find the Kit you want to borrow.
- Place a Hold on the desired kit.
- The checkout period is for two months.
- If the kit is available, it will be sent to you via the CLiC courier as soon as we are able.
- If it is checked out to another library, your hold will remain in place until the item is available or you cancel the hold.
- Kits are not available for loan to out-of-state libraries.
- Kits cannot be reserved for a specific date in the future.
- Note that kits are transported via the CLiC courier. It is possible to accommodate lending if your institution is not on the courier system but are able to pick the kit up from CSL.
Contact KitSupport@coloradovirtuallibrary.org with any questions.