Youth Services librarians at Keene Public Library are pleased to announce the publication of the Little Makers Toolkit. The toolkit can be accessed through the Little Makers website at LittleMakersKPL.org.
Developed by the Keene Public Library (KPL), the Little Makers program explores how public libraries can provide STEM programming for very young children, ages 2 to 6, and their adult caregivers, resulting in new attitudes, skills, and competencies, fostering higher-level thinking and problem-solving skills. The program, which ran from 2018 to 2021, focuses on co-learning through tinkering and making activities in person and virtually. Little Makers is made possible by a National Leadership Grants for Libraries Program awarded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (#LG-95-18-0191-18).
The goals of the program are twofold:
- To engage early learners in STEM, tinkering, and making activities in an inviting environment
- To increase caregiver and parental understanding of the importance of STEM, tinkering, and making activities and to boost their efficacy in engaging their children with STEM
The hope was that young children would have fun in the program, show a capability for engaging in STEM activities, ask their parents how and why questions, and begin developing a positive view of STEM. The hope for parents and caregivers was that they would choose to bring young learners to the program, increase their use of scientific vocabulary and tools, feel more comfortable engaging in these types of activities with their children, and perceive the library as an essential STEM, tinkering, and making learning center.
The toolkit represents the outcomes of this work and the lessons learned throughout the project.
Although the project is now completed, we will be continuing to offer Little Makers programming and we will incorporate the Little Makers philosophy and methods in many of our ongoing programs.
If you have questions about Little Makers, please contact Gail Zachariah at 603-352-0157.