Federation of Ontario Public Libraries

Curbside Kids’ Activity Kits

May 11, 2020
AUDIENCE
Children / Family
POPULAR TOPICS
Social-distancing programs
Coloring, Crafts & Hands-on
STEM
BUDGET
Free
Advance Planning

We have a building filled with supplies (including a makerspace). Why not share the wealth? The planning process involved walking around our workshop and makerspace and seeing what we could provide that was fun and easy to sanitize once returned.

Card games were vetoed because there are so many “parts” that can be easily lost. Paintbrushes and rolls of duct tape were ideal. Patrons would keep any paper instructions or finished projects and just send us back these materials that we could sanitize and quarantine, just like our book returns.

 

Marketing

Our marketing coordinator, Jeanna Hann, began promoting the activity kits on the day we began taking orders for curbside pickup. The kits are included in the online order form on our website. Patrons can also request them over the phone.

The kits were promoted on the North Manchester Public Library Facebook page, website and Instagram and instantly gained a lot of attention.

North Manchester Public Library is a small but innovative library. We like to think outside of the box and keep the attention of our community. Last month we gained a lot of momentum with our #NMPLundercover hashtag and Buzzfeed article. Every community deserves an energetic and fun library!

 

Budget Details

These kits contain only items and supplies we have in-house so no extra funding was required. NMPL would much rather lend its materials then have them sit unused in an empty library.

Day-of-event Activity

The kits are set up on a rack at the main circulation desk. All of our clerks received information on what they are and how they will be circulated so they are aware when patrons come for pickup.

Program Execution

As of right now, almost all of the kits are checked out or on hold. It’s very exciting to see our materials that were previously purchased for programming still being utilized by our patrons even when it can’t happen in the building.

Our director, Diane Randall, was very much in support of the activity kits to keep the children engaged with the library.

Advice

Keep it simple. Don’t hand out a kit that has a ton of parts that need to be returned. If you can hand out kits in small grocery bags that need nothing returned, even better!