Commentary: Non-traditional items at the library

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Kristi Sadowski, Southington Public Library director
sadowskik@southington.org

I have talked before about how the Southington Public Library is now a community center and gathering place, and about how library services extend outside our walls. But I don’t believe I have shared the multitude of non-traditional items that can be borrowed from the library.

Perhaps the most well-known of these collections are the cake pans located in the children’s department. If you are looking for a specific character or shape, we are your go to location. In addition to browsing them in the children’s room, you can view the complete collection on the library’s website.

Another very well utilized collection are the Board Games and Puzzles. The collection ranges from quick party games such as What Do You Meme, The Game of Things, and Wits and Wagers, to games for the intense gamer such as Dominion, Betrayal at House on Haunted Hill, and Catan. The library also provides a game accessibility guide which rates many of the games using categories such as visual, physical, emotional, cognitive, and communication abilities.

Recently the children’s department added a similar board game and puzzle collection for younger kids. It is located just below the developmental toy collection near the back entrance. library users can save money by trying out toys first, and borrowing them, since infants grow so quickly.

Both the children’s department and teen zone lend video games in multiple formats. Recently the teen zone added a Nintendo Switch video game that can be borrowed and taken home to play. This is a handheld system that can also be connected to a TV for 1-4 users.

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If you are looking for something more tech savvy, the Merge Cube, an AR device that produces holograms which can be held in one’s hand, or the VR Goggles which can be pared with the Merge Cube or a smart phone to alter your world. The Marbotic Smartkit is a blend of traditional and physical toys with a modern touch screen that is also great for kids.

The Southington Public Library, 255 Main St, Southington, CT 06489.
(860) 628-0947

Those with tiny ones may be interested in borrowing a Starling, a vocabulary tracker for babies to count how many words they hear each day. Slightly older kids may like the Hooked on Phonics learning kits for kids of all ages or the Playaway Launchpad, early literacy tablets.

The adult services department now has a modest collection of vinyl records and two record players that can be borrowed. The library also lends Fitbits to track steps and kill-a-watt meters to measure the electricity usage of appliances and gadgets.

All of these devices were purchased by the library to allow community members to test them before making a large purchase of their own, or because they are items infrequently used by individuals and thus perfect for a resource sharing model. We are always interested in filling this need for the community and will happily accept suggestions of other items that might be of use.

For more information on any of these items, please contact the children’s or reference desks by phone at (860) 628-0947, email at southingtonpubliclibrary@southington.org, or on your next visit to the library.

Kristi Sadowski is the director of the Southington Public Library. To learn more, visit them at www.SouthingtonLibrary.org.