Word has recently been received by the Skowhegan Free Public Library that the children’s section of the library has been chosen as a recipient of the Dorothy Louise Kyler Foundation grant in the amount of $5,000. The foundation specifies that all funds must be spent on books, audio books, CDs, and DVDs for the children’s collection.
Youth Services Librarian, Angie Herrick, wrote the grant last fall, stating a need for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) related materials. Much of the current children’s non-fiction section is dated and funds are tight. According to a report put out by Georgetown University, Americans should expect to see a 26 percent increase in STEM job fields in the next ten years. This means that nearly a quarter of all new jobs will be centered on math, science, engineering and technology skills. It is the hope that this grant will allow the library to purchase new materials that will bolster the current collection without taking money away from the small book budget the library sets aside for children’s materials. The library would like to be able to provide these new and reliable resources to engage young learners in the STEM fields. Items on the wish list include: coding and technology books, math and science series, Lego design books, and lots of educational DVDs for all ages.
The Skowhegan Library Youth Services Librarian has been working with the Maine State Librarian’s STEM Liaison, Christina Dorman, and Early Literacy Children’s Specialist, Stephanie Schott, to make sure that quality materials are selected. New items should begin appearing on the library shelves in February.