STEAM labs and Maker Spaces have become hugely popular in schools — and now they are making their mark in our libraries! Here at the LeClaire Community Library we have created our own version, called the Tinker Lab. On Thursday afternoons at 4:30 p.m. young adults can attend programs to learn how to use a wide range of tools, technology and art supplies to create anything they can think up. But we know that an idea can strike at any time, so we encourage patrons (ages 10 or older) to come in any day and see where their creativity takes them.

This great idea started when we welcomed our Director Ellen Miller, to our library. She and the previous Youth Services Coordinator developed the space now known as the Tinker Lab; bringing activities like sewing, Sphero Robots, DIY bath bombs, green screen videos, and stop motion animation into the library. Funding for the Tinker Lab was provided by the City of LeClaire, along with a very generous donation from the Friends of the LeClaire Community Library.

Since I became the LeClaire Library’s Youth Services Coordinator in January, I have been planning upcoming Tinker Lab activities. I strive to keep a balance between science, technology, engineering, art and math. This month we will be looking at the stars, creating a galaxy in a jar, drilling constellations into tin cans and wiring them with lights to create lanterns. Visit the library's website or Facebook page for more projects to look out for in the coming month.