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Library program earns national recognition

11/06/2014 12:38AM ● Published by Lev

The Bayard Taylor Memorial Library’s Teen MakerSpace Program has been named by the American Library Association (ALA) as a winner of the best “Make It @ Your Library” programs of 2014.

The national award was announced on Oct. 21 by the Young Adult Services Division of the ALA.

The Teen MakerSpace programs -- which included a six-week summer camp, weekly programming for teens, and regular demonstrations for all ages -- have received grants, support and awards from Google, Make Magazine and the Kennett Consolidated School District in addition to the ALA award. The camp and weekly program utilize a 3D printer – donated to the library – computers, and traditional building tools and supplies. Participants have created motorized cars, light-up costume pieces, hand-drawn videogame controllers, and more.

Another example of the library's growth is the $18,000 grant the library won for training and materials to create a Family Place Center in Kennett Square. The initiative transformed the library into a developmentally appropriate early learning environment for very young children and their caregivers. The program is based on a national model that supports the role of parents as first teachers, and includes books and toys for children to play with, and social, health and educational experts for parents and caregivers to consult.

Other programming for children includes a years-long partnership with Paws for Reading, an organization that provides therapy pets for children to practice their reading. The dogs are in the library on Tuesday nights.

Additional programs for children include LEGO club, art class, literature-themed parties, two graphic novel book clubs and more. The video game club has allowed a group that typically avoids the library, middle-school boys, to develop a positive relationship with their library space.

The teen programming outside of MakerSpace has also seen a spike in attendance, especially the Tuesday night Magic: The Gathering Club, which went from four players to 15 in two weeks. The comic book club for teens encourages discussion of the graphic medium.

“I have worked here for 12 years, and I have never seen excitement and progress like this,” said library director Donna Murray. “My staff and I cannot wait for the makeover and the new building, and in the meantime, we hope you’ll stop in and see the library, check out our fantastic programs, sign up for our weekly e-mails, and get to know our excellent staff.”

The library board has selected The Lukmire Partnership as the architect and W.S. Cumby as the construction manager to design and build a new library. The board is also assessing and interviewing project managers.

For more information on programs and events at the library, contact programming coordinator Ivy Weir at iweir@ccls.org.

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