WA Secretary of State Blogs

“Technology has a way of bridging language barriers”

Winlock RoominateNo matter what type of library you work in or what your role, we all have something in common.  We care about the people we serve, we care about providing excellent resources and we care about connecting those two things.  Library Development is the branch of the state library which administers federal (LSTA) funds.  We create programs to support the libraries of the state which we hope in turn will benefit the residents of Washington state.  We love what we do, but the nature of our work puts us one step away from our end users.  So we really love it when we hear stories about how our projects impact the lives of our fellow Washingtonians.

Imagine how happy we were to hear recently from Jamie Allwine, the manager at Winlock Timberland Library.  For the last few years the State Library has invested in several STEM kits which circulate around the state.  Allowing libraries to host technology based learning programs without a huge investment of their limited resources.  If you are a regular reader of this blog you will have heard about the Lego Mindstorms kits, or maybe the Snap Circuits or Ozobots.  However in this story the STEM kit which visited the Winlock Library was a Roominate program that was held at her library in September. Winlock is a small library and as such gets to know their patrons well.  Jamie wrote to us about a Latina family who were regulars at the library.  Mom routinely brings her three kids to the library but they only occasionally see the Dad.  Jamie and her staff routinely reach out to this family to join them in a program but until recently they have never attended one.  But something about the Roominate kits got their attention and this time the entire family attended.  Jamie reported that “Dad and Mom started out working with the girls building a Roominate house.  Then their son saw the Dash robot and wanted to play with that, so the father and son broke off and played with the Dash robot for a while, and then came back and helped complete the Roominate house.”

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