3D Printer Upgrade

St. Thomas Public Library has two brand new 3D Printers! Come in and check out our new Lulzbots. These models are an upgrade from our previous Cube models: You will find them easier to use, they can print using many different filament materials, and more colour options are available. You can even bring in your own filament and 3D print for free! (Prints normally cost 10 cents per gram).

What have people been up to on the new printers? Right now the trend is fidget spinners. Print a cap and a shell and then add your own weights for a custom spinner that no one else will have! You can find hundreds of designs like these ones on Thingiverse:

Also exciting: You can watch what people are printing live on our new Twitch channel! The channel switches between our two printers so you can watch a 3D print in progress. See if you can guess what each print will be!

To learn how to use our Lulzbots, join one of our 3D Printing Certification Sessions. Check our online calendar  for session dates. You can register online with your library card, or drop by the Adult Information Desk to sign up. If you can’t make a Certification Session, we now have the option of booking a One on One Session. Ask at the Adult Information Desk and we’ll find a time for a staff member to assist you!

Stay tuned for more changes to Creators’ Community. We’re currently working on a Creators’ Corner, a welcoming work space to accommodate new classes and allow better access to our resources!

New Programs for Tweens and Teens!

Blackout Poetry - April Party Crowd

Do you have tweens or teens at home in need of a creative outlet? We have a program for that! Two new programs are starting in April for older kids to get together and be creative  at the library.

Tween Scene is for ages 9-12 and will run from 4-5 pm on the fourth Wednesday of the month. Join Darlene and Amelia to make crafts and play fun games like Minute to Win-It. No registration required, all supplies will be provided. On April 22nd we will be making Plywood Paintings, so come out and make a masterpiece to jazz up your bedroom!

Drop-In Youth Cafe is for teens ages 12-19. It runs from 4-5 pm on the first Wednesday of the month. Join Cindy and Amelia to make things, learn new skills, and hang out in a relaxed and friendly place. On Wednesday April 1st we’ll be making book page art, including black-out poetry that we would like to display in the Teen Lounge for poetry month!

Reason #64: Library Programs Create Friendships

Reason #64: Library programs create friendships
Zoe (left) and Zanna (right) participating in our Young Writers’ Club.

We could tell you that library programs for children, teens, and adults create meaningful friendships, but anyone can claim that! When people attend one of our programs, workshops, or events, that common interest brings people together, breaks down barriers, and allows people to interact with each other. If these programs were not offered, it isn’t likely that two strangers would suddenly break into conversation and become fast friends. Yes, any business or organization can claim that their programs or events create friendships, but St. Thomas Public Library can show you through a story written by two young ladies who participate in our Young Writers’ Club.

Once upon a time, there were two extraordinarily creative mice. These two particular mice wrote many stories alone. Little did they know that the two were on the path to meeting each other and would learn the power of their combined skills. This path was the Young WritersClub at their mice town’s library. The first day, the two tentatively scurried in and sat down across from each other, completely unaware that they would soon be great friends. Amelia Mouse and Rosy Mouse encouraged the two to work together for the first time. The two were surprised at how well they worked together. Days later, the young mice were shocked to see each other again, out of the club. They were at a sports activity that one of the mice had just switched times for. The next few writers’ club sessions, the two continued to work together and realized their writing styles and ideas were nearly identical. The two mice fit together like pieces of a two-piece puzzle. They had a way of working together finishing each other’s sentences and building off one another’s ideas to make wonderful stories from enchanting mysteries to hilarious, unrealistic fantasies. Contrary to what you might think, this is a true story. In fact, the two mice are not mice at all. They are two 11 year-old girls by the names of Zanna and Zoe. The two girls are now fantastic friends. And all because of the Young WritersClub at St Thomas Public Library.

– written collaboratively by Zoe (age 11) and Zanna (age 11) – unedited

 

Reason #38: Learn and Train in our Computer Lab!

Reason #38 - Learn & Train in our Computer Lab

Have you seen our computer lab? Located on our lower level across from the circulation desk, the computer lab is a quiet room equipped with ten new computers. It’s an ideal space for holding group computer classes or doing online training. In fact, we use the computer lab for our popular new computer skills workshops. Feel like you want to sharpen your computer skills? Check out our June workshop offerings:

Tuesday, June 17, 10 am-noon: Microsoft Word Basics

An introduction to word processing functions such as pagination, font, inserting graphics, printing and keyboard shortcuts. Includes information about creating PDF files for publication and distribution.

Thursday, June 19, 6-8 pm: Safe & Savvy Web Browsing

An introduction to basic network architecture, web browsing, web addresses, and web domains. Students discover various types of malware, how to mitigate against malware, and best password practices.

Registration is required for workshops. Register by calling 519-63106050 ext. 8013 or in person at the Adult Information Desk, main level.

The computer lab has also become home to a new Lego Mindstorm Robotics program. Students from St. Joseph’s Catholic High School Renaissance Robotics Team volunteer with kids ages 9-11 to build and program Lego Mindstorms NXT robots. The volunteers bring the robots and we supply the computers and space. We’ll be running this program July 15th and 16th, and again on August 11th and 12th. Register your child by calling 519-631-6050 ext. 8015 or drop by the Children’s & Teens’ Information Desk.

Do you have a meeting that requires access to several computers? You can book our lab! The rates can be free, $25 per hour or $50 per hour depending on how you will use the room. For more information about booking the computer lab, call us at 519-631-6050 ext. 8011.

 

Discover at your Library

The library is often thought of as a place to gather information, research, and read. Information is stored in our books and on our computers and librarians are traditionally thought of as the gatekeepers and the guides. But is this really how libraries look now? Libraries are becoming more about giving people access to resources that they may not be able to access privately.

pynekingslibrarybuckinghamhouse_editedlibrary makerspace

This includes technology! It has become important to have experience with different types of technology to help us in our schools and workplaces. The student who has experience using apps, for example, will have an advantage with potential employers over a student who has never used one. The same goes for computers, email and tablets. This is where the library can help: If you don’t have access to this technology you can come here and learn! You don’t need your own tablet or iPhone in order to experience the technology.

makerbot

Over the next year, you will see a theme emerge in the services we offer here at St. Thomas Public Library. We now have computer classes for adults, iPads available for the public to use, and Kobos that you can borrow just like a library book. Our summer activities in Children’s and Teens’ Services will include a lot of self-directed discovery, like our Tech Take-Apart Day. A great way to learn is to tinker. Sometimes it’s better than a classroom or a lecture! We are also exploring options for a maker-space, so stay tuned for more on that. It will offer technology that adults and kids alike can use to develop new skills and make their way in the ever-changing technological world!

 

 

Teens Make a Difference

Eco flashmob 2Eco flashmob 7

Did you know that teens are an integral part of our library? Not only do we offer a space and a collection just for them, but they give back by helping us plan services, put on programs and choose materials. They do behind-scenes-work on some of our most successful programs, like Haunted Library, Stuffy Sleepovers and Free Comic Book Day. Staff are always glad to have a teen volunteer to help out during these busy programs.

To get involved, teens can join the library’s Teen Advisory Board (TAB). TAB usually meets once a month (sometimes more) and every meeting can count towards the community hours teens need to graduate high-school. Some of the TAB activities for the last few months have included a book to movie club, a meditation workshop, community clean-up, TAB holiday party, and a book-buying trip. TAB members inevitably make friends, learn skills and gain references for their resumes, and get in those all-important community hours. If you’re interested in joining TAB or you know a teen who could benefit, drop by the Information Desk in Children’s and Teens’ to fill out a membership form!

Here are a few more pictures of our TAB members in action:

Eco flashmob 6 004 Eco flashmob 3 ipad may 15 052

 

Back to Nature- Where You Belong!

Soft grass under foot, your toes can grip and feel the earth. You are surrounded by the whisper of wind in the trees, the lull of lapping water, the songs of birds, the scurrying of small animals, and the symphony of the stream. The vista is beautiful and the air is fresh. Come the evening there is the aroma and crackle of a fire. The canopy of stars encourages dreaming and reflection. The aroma of the fire is joined by the sweet smell of s’mores, the toasted combination of graham crackers, pure chocolate, and melting marshmallows. At night, you nestle down into Mother Earth and sleep the sleep of the innocent. You will awaken refreshed and stronger tomorrow; urban decay, sirens, squealing tires, flashing lights, cement (the most unnatural material invented), overhead wires, exhaust fumes,

and the constant cacophony of noise are distant memories.

If you have recollections like this or would like to create memories like this, join us at: 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 10, 2014 in the Carnegie Room at the St. Thomas Public Library for a “Learn Camping Basics” presentation. This program is courtesy of Ontario Parks and you will learn about camping, see different types of camping equipment, and obtain advice from the experts. This is an all age event and great way to learn about an economical family experience. Please register at the Information Desks on the Main Floor.

Do come out and find out what our Ontario Parks have to offer. Come camping! It may lead you to fishing, canoeing, hiking, bird watching, and other great outdoor pastimes.tq_007420-camping_g