STEM kits, gardening starters and fishing poles: The library’s more than books!

Jul 8, 2022

Looking to start a vegetable garden, or want to teach your child how to grow marigolds? How about looking through the stars with a telescope kit, or learning how to make a magnetic levitation train? Or maybe you’re just looking to go fishing, but don’t have a pole on you?

If your answer is "yes" to any of the above, the Wareham Free Library may be able to help — with a lot more than books, children’s librarian Marcia Hickey explained.

Hickey went through the many kits and tools that residents can check out for themselves and their children from both the library’s main building and its Spinney branch at 259 Onset Ave.

The library has several STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) kits available for checkout, and a few gardening kits ready for residents too.

The STEM kits include: a Rocks and Minerals kit, a Human Body kit, a Dinosaurs/Fossils kit, an Anti-Gravity Mag-Lev and Electronics kit, a Telescope/Space kit and a Weather kit.

Each includes books, activities and tools for children and their parents to look through and discover, Hickey said.

Most recently, the library has worked with Mass Audubon to offer a new kit, “Beyond the Beaten Path: Exploring the Outdoors,” which includes binoculars and a magnifying glass, Hickey said.

Later this summer the library will have more kits on tap, she said, after the library obtained a grant from Nouria.

The most popular kit so far, she said, is the space one, which includes a telescope for use. The dinosaurs/fossils and human body kits are also oft-used.

Each STEM kit can be checked out for a two-week period, though the rock and minerals kit can be kept for up to a month, as it contains a rock tumbler that spins for about that long.

The library also offers gardening kits, both for adults and children, Hickey said, available for a two-week checkout from the main branch.

“(There’s) little tools for the little ones,” she said. “We just try to introduce the children to growing food.”

The gardening kits come with a bit of soil, egg cartons and seeds. The adult gardening kits come with vegetables and herbs, while the kid kits are filled with marigold and sunflower seeds, Hickey said.

For people more nautically minded, the libraries also offer fishing poles for checkout, both in adult and child sizes. They can be checked out for one week from either library location, Hickey said.