Delaware Division of Libraries Blog
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Division of Libraries


Two New Clubs “Make” it to the Garfield Park Library

Written on: January 31st, 2017 by: Sarena Fletcher in Blog PostsInformal learningTech

What do a few blocks of green Playdoh have in common with 3D design?c25dahsweae0xtd

We were asking ourselves this very question during the first meeting of the Garfield Park Library Maker Club. Terence Blanch, Wilmington University professor and lifelong Maker, guided us through envisioning an object and assembling pre-determined Playdoh shapes to achieve that model.

He challenged us to make a gnome, a gnome with a really big nose. He later introduced the club participants to TinkerCAD, a beginner-friendly computer-aided-design program that users can access from the Cloud. The shapes used in TinkerCAD resemble blocks of colored Playdoh.

The next Maker Club meeting will focus on the Exploration in Flight. Participants will make foam gliders, working to improve the design via rapid prototyping. Future meetings will include discussions on rocketry, circuitry, and drones.

TinkerCad, Maker Monday Garfield Park

Maker Club Schedule:
(Club meets on Mondays, times vary.)

Garfield Park Library is scheduled to host to an Astronomy Club, also led by Terence Blanch, NASA Ambassador. Participants will make their own telescope out of basic craft supplies such as card stock and construction paper. Attendees will discuss sky coordinates as well as how to view constellations such as Orion, the great Orion Nebula, Taurus, Aldebaran, and the Seven Sisters. You do not need your own equipment; binoculars and telescopes will be available at the library. This club is open to people of all ages.

Email Garfield Park Public Library or call (302) 571-7312 for more information about these fun clubs!
Garfield Park Public Library Calendar of Events.

Millsboro Public Library Container Garden

Written on: September 23rd, 2016 by: Beth-Ann Ryan in Blog Posts

This summer, the Millsboro Public Library created a container garden to encourage children to learn about science, nature, nutrition, and more! The children grew tomatoes, lavender, rosemary, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, and pumpkins. Library Director Mary Brittingham told us, “The children particularly like the little cherry tomatoes because they are just the right size to hide inside their cheeks.” Congratulations on the wonderful program Millsboro Public Library!


Imagineering @ Bridgeville Public Library

Written on: July 7th, 2016 by: hope.ellsworth in Blog PostsInspiration Space

With a nod toward Walt Disney, the Bridgeville Public Library hosts Imagineering opportunities for kids. One father explained the program this way:
“It was fantastic. There were kids soldering wires to circuit boards, assembling gearboxes, and using the 3d printer to make parts for their robots. They were using free programs for the 3d modeling and printing, online videos to learn how to assemble the components, and free tutorials as a guide to completing their projects. The teacher was great, and was really attentive to the kids and showed them how to answer their own questions. The other kids were incredibly polite, and even took my son with them to explain what they’re doing, why and how.
The whole time my son kept saying ‘can I make a robot?!’, he was super excited.”

The Imagineering Club and the Imagineering Basics Club are combining for the summer, and will meet every Wednesday from 3:30-5pm at the Bridgeville Public Library.

As usual, Mr. Keith will be there to help with the special projects and lab work (a basics lab and a new components lab). For more information contact the Bridgeville Public Library ( or 302-337-7401).

Makers of Delaware Libraries: Claymont Library Crochet Club

Written on: April 18th, 2016 by: in Blog Posts

Claymont 1Four years ago Claymont Library patron, Valerie McClain (top left) dropped a note in the suggestion box inquiring why the majority of activities were for children.  Shortly after, she was invited to address this concern first hand and she answered the call.  The Crochet Club of Claymont Library was born and they are going four years strong.  They meet every first and third Tuesday to talk, laugh, teach and most of all, create!  Some of their creations such as scarves, preemie/chemo caps, blankets and other gifts have been donated to various organizations while some members are becoming blossoming entrepreneurs after receiving offers to purchase their unique wares.

Most of all, a closely knit bond (pun intended) has been formed that expands to monthly luncheons, barbecues, book clubs and periodic day trips. They continuously welcome new members with open arms which was evident by the two new members who were being shown the ropes at the time of the interview. Everyone had their own reasons for joining the group but the consensus was the opportunity to be surrounded by great people working together to explore their creative potential!

This March, the group celebrated their four year anniversary with a fabulous party complete with sparkling cider, homemade baked goods and other refreshments! Our libraries are surely evolving! Join the Claymont Library Crochet Club on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month at 6:00pm.

Robocode at the Brandywine Hundred Library

Written on: March 8th, 2016 by: Sarena Fletcher in Blog PostsInformal learningInspiration SpaceTech

robocode_tariqThe first ever day of Robocode in Delaware Libraries was a blast!

This past Saturday, eight teens gathered at the Brandywine Hundred Library in Wilmington for this day-long workshop to learn the basics of coding with Java while building their own virtual battle tank. Students from Zip Code Wilmington led the class and guided the teens as they designed their bot’s strategy for battle.

Participants learned Java, laughed, and gave each other coder nicknames. What a great way to spend a cool Saturday in winter!

Library Meet MeetUp: 3D Printer Style

Written on: February 29th, 2016 by: Sarena Fletcher in Blog PostsInformal learningLearningTech

Meetup_Logo_2015I’m hosting my first MeetUp tonight.

I officially registered the N. Delaware 3D Printing MeetUp with I even named the members Enthusiasts. Since Delaware Libraries introduced 3D printing services a couple years ago I’ve met a lot of people in Delaware involved in some way with related technologies. I know them and they know me, but I’ve found they often don’t know of each other. I’m trying to bring them together to, well, meet up.

The first meeting will be at the Newark Free Library. I find it ironic that public libraries have served as places for people to meet others with similar interests for years, yet due to its growing popularity, I’ve been able to gain much more exposure and membership momentum by registering this new group with

My hope in gathering Enthusiasts is to increase collaboration across professions and communities, bring interested Delawareans to a neutral location to discuss how 3D printers have changed their lives. What brand of desktop 3D printer do they have at home? What do they use at work? For what purpose do they use it? How is 3D printing being introduced in schools?

Libraries across the world have been impelled to offer 3D printer services. Yet staff have been challenged by the amount of attention and maintenance required to keep our printers working in the libraries. Delaware’s libraries need community support to increase the success of these printers, to keep them running so anyone can place a request and witness their first print made. As more and more people are purchasing personal devices they too will require a community support network to figure out what they really brought into their homes. What is a ‘hot end isolator’ and where can I find one? How often am I supposed to ‘season’ the nozzle?

Hopefully, Enthusiasts from the N. Delaware 3D Printing MeetUp will be able to answer these kinds of questions for each other. Tonight’s meeting will be at a public library. Maybe the next meeting will be at a school, an engineering lab, or a 3D printer shop. Most important are the people coming together to create a community of practice around 3D printing and related technologies.

Delaware libraries that offer 3D printing services can be found on the Unleash Inner Genius LibGuide.

Tactile Map of the Wilmington Public Library

Written on: February 25th, 2016 by: Sarena Fletcher in Blog PostsInspiration SpaceTech

A couple months ago I was invited by one of my colleagues to a small gathering at the Wilmington Public Library to strategize ways to leverage the library’s 3D printers to help patrons with visual impairments. This had been an interest of mine, since the spring of 2014 when I first introduced a 3D printer and print to a member of the Delaware Library Access Services Friends Group.

Apparently it is one of Carl Shaw’s interests as well.

As the Inspiration Space Coordinator for the Wilmington Public Library, Carl has the fortune of working with a variety of library patrons, including Derek Alexander of the Delaware Division for the Visually Impaired (DVI). Carl and Derek experimented with some of the video recording and editing tools available to them at the Inspiration Space (such as a green screen and DSLR camera) to create a short video in which they discussed some practical applications for 3D printing to help the visually impaired. Please view their video by clicking here: 3D Printing for the Visually Impaired: Inspiration Space-Wilmington.

Together they came up with the idea to print a tactile map of the library.

3 - 1st Floor 11x17wilmpl_commons

Using the floorplan provided in a brochure, we created a basic electronic map comprised primarily of solid black lines and rectangles. We opened the floorplan in Microsoft Publisher, traced the shapes that represented the reference desk, bookshelves, elevators, and other features that we thought would be relevant to someone using the map as a library way finder. Through a couple of electronic file conversions using software such as Inkscape and the online 3D modeling application Tinkercad, we created a series of .stl files – a format commonly recognized by 3D modeling software.


2016-02-19-15.07.00Our first iteration has proven promising. We have a couple of prints, focused on the first floor Reading Room and Reference area. We are working with our contacts at DVI to figure best practices using braille to identify features such as the elevator. The next challenge will be how to best represent the open stairway that leads down to the Teen and Children’s areas.

Please check back for future updates on this project.

Thank you for the support

Written on: February 9th, 2016 by: Beth-Ann Ryan in Blog Posts

We are so thankful for all library supporters, including the Consavage family of Claymont, who spoke at the Joint Finance Committee hearing on February 3rd. After Clare and Colin Consavage told their story about 3-D printing Colin’s prosthetic hand at the Wilmington Public library, they received a standing ovation from legislators!

Transformational stories like this are truly what the library is all about. Read more about Colin and his family or watch an ABC or NBC news video of their story.

Teen Tech Week: Robocode

Written on: February 4th, 2016 by: Sarena Fletcher in Blog PostsInformal learningInspiration SpaceTech

TTWTo kick off Teen Tech Week, The Delaware Division of Libraries is partnering with Zip Code Wilmington and the Barrel of Makers to bring Robocode to the Brandywine Hundred Library. Instructors from Zip Code will guide 25 teens in a day-long workshop and programming game where teens will learn the basics of coding software by building their own virtual battle tank. Each participant will walk away with a solid introduction to Java, one of the world’s most in-demand programming languages.

Teens aged 14-18 are invited to participate in Robocode. Please register in person or call the Brandywine Hundred Library, 1300 Foulk Road, Wilmington, 302.477.3150.

Teen Tech Week is sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association. During this week libraries throughout the state of Delaware will showcase the great digital resources and services that are available to help teens succeed in school and prepare for college and 21st century careers.

Other activities in Delaware Libraries during Teen Tech Week, March 6-12th, include:

Monday, March 6 – Paint with Sphero at the Appoquinimink Community Library

Tuesday, March 7 – Join the Tech Revolution at the Bear Public Library

Wednesday, March 9 – Teen Film-Making Club meets at the Dover Public Library

Wednesday, March 9 – Imagineering Club meets at the Bridgeville Public Library

Wednesday, March 9 – Intro to 3D Design & Make a 3D Printed Box at the Woodlawn Public Library

Friday, March 11 – Minecraft Club meets at the Seaford Public Library

Contact your Delaware public library to learn about more opportunities to participate in Teen Tech Week.

ILEAD USA Delaware 2015

Written on: November 10th, 2015 by: Sarena Fletcher in Blog PostsEntrepreneurshipInformal learningInspiration SpaceTech

Participants of ILEAD Delaware

Participants of ILEAD Delaware

The Division of Libraries hosted the third and final session of ILEAD USA Delaware this past October. ILEAD, which stands for Innovative Librarians Engage, Apply, and Discover, is a professional development opportunity offered this past year in ten states across the United States. Earlier this year in Delaware, fourteen library staff gathered into three teams, each with the goal to develop an innovative product or program that uses participatory technology to address a community need. Their products are intended to be reproducible in other libraries. Our teams accomplished their goals through instructor led workshops, keynote presentations, hands-on explorations of new technologies, and rigorous group collaboration.

Delaware’s teams gathered for the first time last March at the University of Delaware, Virden Retreat Center. The teams self-identified themselves as Team Del-AWARE, Team Mission Possible, and Team T.A.L.E.N.T. (Teens And Librarians Engaging in New Technologies). The primary goal of this first session was to produce short videos introducing their community need and intended project focus.

Developing Collaboration Skills

Developing Collaboration Skills

As of March, Team T.A.L.E.N.T. knew they wanted to tap into the summer employment program for teens and train those teens in new technologies. Those teens would then have the knowledge and skills to further assist the library staff in serving the technological needs of the general public. The team struggled with the question of how to attract the tech savvy teens to apply for the summer program. Watch their entertaining video to learn more about their proposed strategy to engage their teen population.

The focus of the June session was on the team poster presentations. By this session, each team had a clearer concept of how they could best address their identified community need. Team Mission Possible presented ideas for collaborative STEM programming between school and public libraries. Their mission, as outlined in their poster session, is “connecting school and public libraries; providing opportunities for school age children to explore and have fun at the public library.” Video recording of Team Mission Possible poster session.

Exploring Innovation

Exploring Innovation

Team Del-AWARE envisioned and began the process to develop a mobile application that would assist Delawareans, particularly those in need of special support, to find up-to-date and essential resources. Resource categories mentioned in their presentation include shelter, food, health, clothing, and finance. The app would include direct links to the resources, as well as maps to display their geographic location. Video recording of Team Del-AWARE final presentation.

Each team concluded the 2015 Cohort of ILEAD USA Delaware with stellar presentations of their work – innovative projects that hold much potential for Delaware libraries and possibly libraries across the nation.

One of the most exciting aspects of ILEAD is that library staff used social media to connect with ILEADers from across the country. Nine additional states participated simultaneously in ILEAD 2015, which made for some inspiring Twitter traffic using the hashtag #ILEADUSA.

All videos from ILEAD USA Delaware can be viewed on the ILEAD USA YouTube Channel. (

ILEAD is funded by the Division of Libraries, with additional funding and support from the Illinois State Library and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.


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