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G2S Project Code: 2015-CT-76125
State: Connecticut
Fiscal Year: 2015

Project Director
Director Name: Carly Lemire
Director Phone: 203-488-1441 ext 323
Director Email:
General Information
Title: Learning Labs - James Blackstone Memorial Library
State Project Code:
Start Date: 07/01/2015
End Date: 06/30/2016
Abstract: The James Blackstone Memorial Library expanded the capabilities of its current teen Maker program by creating Learning Lab classes on 3D file creation and printing, Arduino circuitry and coding, and wearable technology construction with sewing machines. Library staff purchased supplies and equipment to accommodate additional participants, hosted qualified instructors who offered sessions at different times and days of the week, and added related library materials for circulation to help continue to develop the skills learned in each session. The Learning Labs program was designed to reach a greater number of young adults than previous programs and teach them new skills in a hands-on and social environment.

State Goal: Literacies and learning
Budget Information
Improve users' general knowledge and skills.
Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)
Activity Details
Title: Classes
Narrative: The James Blackstone Memorial Library offered three series of Learning Labs classes to teach young adults new technology skills. Classes were offered in the summer and repeated the following spring for different participants. Students in the 3D printing classes (4 sessions) learned 3D design skills and printed an item that they designed from start to finish. Students in the Arduino classes (4 sessions) learned basic 3D printing, circuitry, and coding skills to complete a temperature sensitive or music producing fan project. Students in the wearable technology class (2 sessions) learned machine/hand-sewing and circuitry skills, completing a light-up armband.
In addition, the library purchased 33 print titles on related subjects and added them to the circulating collection for all library patrons.

Intent: Improve users' general knowledge and skills.

Activity: Instruction
Mode: Program
Format: In-person

Session length (minutes): 90
Number of sessions in program: 10
Average number in attendance per session: 8
Number of times program administered: 2

Partner Information
Organization Type of Partner Organization(s):
Libraries: No
Historical Societies or Organizations: No
Museums: No
Archives: No
Cultural Heritage Organization Multi-type: No
Preschools: No
Schools: No
Adult Education: No
Human Service Organizations: No
Other: No

Legal Type of Partner Organization(s):
Federal Government: No
State Government: No
Local Government (excluding school districts): No
School District: No
Non-Profit: No
Private Sector: No
Tribe/Native Hawaiian Organization: No

Is the activity directed at the library workforce: No
For a targeted group or for the general population: Targeted
Geographic community of the targeted group: Suburban
For what age groups: 6-12 years
13-17 years
For what economic types: Economic Not Applicable
For what ethnicity types: Ethnicity Not Applicable
Is the activity directed at families: No
Is the activity directed at intergenerational groups: No
Is the activity directed at immigrants/refugees: No
Is the activity directed at those with disabilities: No
Limited functional literacy or informational skills: No
Is the activity category not already captured: No

Is the activity state-wide: No
Specific Locations: Yes
Address: 758 MAIN ST.
State: CT
Zip: 06405
Project Outcomes
Project Outcomes
List any important findings or outcomes from your project:
Of the 43 unique Learning Labs participants, only four had attended teen programs at the library previously. The other 39 students were new to library programs. In the post-class evaluation sheets for all sessions, students indicated that they enjoyed the projects they worked on, and they liked designing and creating real projects and learning how to make changes to those projects as needed. They appreciated the opportunity to experiment and learn at their own pace and enjoyed working with the instructors. Many students also indicated that they wish to become volunteer instructors for future Maker programs.
Please briefly describe importance of findings:
The importance of the outcomes the young adults experienced in the Learning Labs is twofold. Attendees completing a Learning Labs class gained technological skills that they can apply to solve real-world problems or use as a creative outlet. In addition, the confidence they gained in knowing they can learn and apply skills in new technology will better prepare them to face challenges and believe in themselves when they are given new tasks. Working together collaboratively builds leadership and social skills that they will carry with them throughout school, jobs, and real life. Grant funds helped the library staff increase their program capabilities and develop programs that attracted new young adults to the library. Attendees in the Learning Labs not only gained new technological and personal development skills but also had the opportunity to get to know the library and its staff, becoming more comfortable relying on the library as a resource in their lives. Library staff feel the programs were beneficial in helping them reach new teens in the community, bring them into the library, and teach them practical and social skills that will empower them for their future.
What methods did you use to determine your findings? Check all that apply:
Interview/Focus Group
Participant Observation
Based on outputs, outcomes and/or other results, explain any significant lessons learned from these findings for either the SLAA or others in the LIS field:

Do you anticipate continuing this project after the current reporting period ends:
Do you anticipate any change in level of effort:
Yes: Less funding will result in fewer programs. Library staff and teen volunteer instructors will lead more classes in the future.
Do you anticipate any change in the project's scope:
Do you anticipate any other changes in the project:
Exemplary: No
Exemplary Narrative
Project Tags: Young adults, Making