This spring, I decided I wanted to jump aboard the bandwagon of circulating materials that were not the norm. Our Youth Services department had been circulating theme kits for over a year that include dress up, shapes, and potty training. They are wildly successful and I wanted to see if the idea could translate over to teen.
I first went to my teen advisory group to see if they liked the idea and what kind of kits they would be interested in checking out. We came up with several different ideas, but I choose to start with three I thought would have the most appeal: How to Play the Ukulele, How to Juggle and Do Magic Tricks, & How to Create Food Projects.
The process of getting the kits ordered and ready took a bit longer than I would have liked. I initially hit a small snag on what funds the kits would come out of. I knew I didn’t have enough money in my programming budget, but I did have plenty available in my book budget. Thankfully, I was able to get everyone involved to agree that my book funds was the proper line to pull the money from. I had hoped to get them out by summer, but by the time we got them in, put together and catalogued it was mid-August.
However, even though we didn’t get the summer rush, they’re still getting a fair amount of attention. The ukulele kit is by far the most popular. It’s rarely in; at most I see it in for a day or two before it vanishes again. The magic and food kits aren’t as popular, but they’ve been gone for about 50% of the time so far, so not too shabby!
Right now the kits circulate for 3 weeks at a time. This matches how Youth Services does their kits, but I am considering if a shorter time may be better. Each kit is kept locked by a small lock that goes through the zipper and grommet. The only set of keys it kept by the YS staff, who must unlock it before patrons can check it out. YS staff also checks the contents/lock the bags before a patron can check them in as well. I know that part seems like a small hassle, but it takes a couple minutes at most; although, we do hope to transition this over to circulation in the future.
I have two other kits I’m currently working on which are how to knit/crochet & a babysitting kit. I also would like to add more of a digital component to each kit that will lead the teens to additional resources to expand their knowledge. My hope is to use the December/January downtime to get those all complete. Overall, I’m highly pleased by how they turned out and can’t wait to see where we take them.