Library’s technology project sparks curiosity across the city
Piekary Slaskie Municipal Public Library publishes results of EIFL-supported project for children and youth

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In the library’s new ‘ITLab’, children learn to make robots and programme them to move.
In the library’s new ‘ITLab’, children learn to make robots and programme them to move.

Piekary Slaskie Municipal Public Library in Poland has shared results of its ‘Programming of Curiosity’ project for children and youth, which was initiated with support from the EIFL Public Library Innovation Programme (EIFL-PLIP).


The library used ‘gamification’ – an educational technique that incorporates the methods of games, like role-playing, stories, teamwork and competition – to stimulate curiosity about digital technology, and to build young people’s confidence and skills in using technology.


Workshops attract over 400 children and youth


In just one year, librarians created and equipped a space in the library – the ‘ITLab’ – where children and youth have free access to desktop, laptop and tablet computers, smart phones, 3D printers and robotics kits, and software to enable them to use this equipment in creative ways.


Librarians and volunteer facilitators hosted workshops for children and youth on effective use of the equipment. Young people learnt how to build robots and programme them to move; how to design and print 3D objects, and to design and code computer games. The workshops attracted over 400 children and youth.


“The robotics workshops are a hit. This is a fantastic initiative for young people, and all without fees.” – Zbigniew Mastalerz, young trainee.


To raise awareness across the city, the library organized a ‘Day of Information Technology’, which included a conference on Web safety; a computer game tournament and an outdoor treasure hunt using digital technology. Hundreds of citizens took part, and the day is to become a regular feature on the library’s calendar.


To reach other librarians and encourage replication, the library presented the project at two international library events, and two national public library conferences.


In addition to winning recognition in Piekary Slaskie, the project won international acclaim, and the library was chosen to showcase the project in a special edition of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) newsletter: ‘MakerSpaces – more than just 3D printers’.


Read more


Read a two-page case study about the impact of the project in the community and on the library.


Read more about Piekary Slaskie Municipal Public Library’s Programming of Curiosity project.


Background


Piekary Slaskie Municipal Public Library’s ‘Programming of Curiosity’ project is one of 10 public library projects for children and youth funded by EIFL-PLIP in 2014. Over the next few months, we will be publishing further case studies about the impact of these projects.


Since 2010, EIFL-PLIP grants have initiated and supported library services and projects that are reaching communities through over 300 public and community libraries in 27 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.


EIFL-PLIP works across six crucial community development issues: agriculture; digital inclusion; education; employment; health, and supporting the needs of women and girls.


Read more about EIFL-PLIP grantees and their innovative services.