Our new grant fiscal year started September 1st and I have been really busy getting the second year of the Bots & Books grant up and running! This grant allows CTLS to provide the equipment and training to help get public libraries all over Texas started with robotics programming for youth patrons.
STEM library programs are becoming so popular (and necessary!), but many librarians are intimidated by the word robotics. It is expensive to get into and there is a learning curve to the content. That is why CTLS created this grant. It helps libraries who don’t have the initial budget by providing all the equipment needed to begin. And we train librarians on how to use the equipment, provide them with ways to tie robotics to literacy, and consult with them on ways they can grow and sustain their robotics programs beyond our grant year.
By the end of this grant year I will have worked with 26 libraries all over the state! Here is a robot I built to show off at our upcoming CTLS Membership Meeting.
Not only is this programming important for small communities that may not have other avenues for this kind of experience for children, but it is yet another way for libraries to serve their communities. We can provide fun, informal educational experiences for our children and their families at not cost to them.
Man, I love my job!