STEM kits, gardening starters and fishing rods: the library is more than books!

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Do you want to start a vegetable garden or teach your child to grow marigolds? How about peering through the stars with a telescope kit or learning how to make a magnetic levitation train. Or maybe you’re just looking to go fishing, but don’t have a rod on you.

Wareham’s free library offers all of these options and more through some of its less traditional items available to residents, explained children’s librarian Marcia Hickey.

Hickey browsed through the many kits and tools that residents can check out for themselves and their children both in the main library building and at its Spinney branch at 259 Onset Ave.

The library has several STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) kits available at checkout, as well as a few resident-ready gardening kits.

STEM kits include: Rocks and Minerals kit, Human Body kit, Dinosaurs/Fossils kit, Anti-Gravity Mag-Lev and Electronics kit, Telescope/Space kit and Weather kit.

Each includes books, activities and tools for children and their parents to browse and discover, Hickey said.

More recently, the library worked with Mass Audubon to come up with a new kit, “Beyond the Beaten Path: Exploring the Outdoors,” which includes binoculars and a magnifying glass, Hickey said.

Later this summer, the library will have more kits available, she said, after the library secured a grant from Nouria.

The most popular kit to date, she said, is the space kit, which includes a telescope to use. Dinosaur/fossil and human body kits are also often used.

Each STEM kit can be checked for a period of two weeks, although the rock and mineral kit can be stored for up to a month, as it contains a rock tumbler that spins for about as long.

The library also offers gardening kits, both for adults and children, Hickey said, available for a two-week checkout from the main branch.

“(There are) little tools for the little ones,” she said. “We’re just trying to introduce kids to food culture.”

Gardening kits come with some soil, egg cartons and seeds. Adult gardening kits contain vegetables and herbs, while children’s kits are filled with marigold and sunflower seeds, Hickey said.

For the more nautical folks, libraries also offer crate fishing rods in both adult and child sizes. They can be borrowed for a week from either library location, Hickey said.

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