Curiosity, tinkering, and making

Photo Credit: Ignacio Community Library

One of my favorite things about libraries and the Ignacio Community Library (ICL)  in particular is how they encourage these three skills. You might not think of curiosity or tinkering as skills, but I think that is exactly what they are. And in a time when so much is done on a screen, these are important skills for kids and adults alike to develop. It used to be that we got creative when we got bored. But most of us now don’t ever reach that point of boredom. So how does a library foster these skills? 

We display so many items at the library, including our current display of fossils from former Ignacio’s teacher Burt Baldwin. We have art, books, and fish for folks to gaze at and consider. Having these types of items on display, I believe, fosters a sense of wonder or curiosity in our patrons. You’ll notice I didn’t say in our children. The library is a place for people of every age to explore new ideas, try out different activities and engage with others who have differing thoughts and opinions.  

It is so good to see families at our summer reading programs and to see the kids asking questions about how and why things happen. But it’s even better to see parents or grandparents engaging with those children to ask those same questions. The library staff has loved seeing people watching our emerging butterflies. And hearing those why and how questions arise. 

In the IdeaLab it is remarkable to see what people are creating. Some of these projects have an end goal in sight. A rocket to launch or a Lego build. But sometimes the skill itself is the end goal. What a treat to watch someone become proficient in video editing, or to see the sense of pride when an item is created on the 3D printer. At ICL we are all committed to the philosophy that curiosity is powerful, that tinkering has value, and that making is a real-life, real-time skill. We hope to help our community foster these skills and have fun along the way. 


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