Story provided by Stillwater Public Library
The Stillwater Public Library’s (SPL) Summer Reading Program is shifting gears over the next couple of weeks with two mobile exhibit visits. SPL invites kids, teens and families to drop by and check out the Echolocation Grotto (aka the “Bat Bus”) from Alabaster Caverns State Park on Tuesday, June 21, and Tulsa’s mobile FabLab on Tuesday, June 28. Both events are drop-in and are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
These programs have a different format than the library’s other summer reading events, allowing families to stop by for as little or as long as they would like at a convenient time. Both mobile exhibits will be located in the library’s north parking lot, and the Friends of the Stillwater Public Library will provide free bottles of water to keep everyone hydrated while being out and about in the summer heat.
The Echolocation Grotto is the first to visit SPL on Tuesday, June 21. Alabaster Caverns State Park staff designed the bus to provide an avenue to educate the public about the importance of bats. The “Bat Bus” is filled with audio-visual presentations, interactive games and interpretive and hands-on displays, including tools and devices used by scientists to study bats. There are also examples of bat-related items that people encounter in their day-to-day lives, and even some bat skulls and skeletons.
Mike Caywood, Alabaster Caverns State Park manager, has studied bats for over 31 years. He loves using the Echolocation Grotto to teach Oklahomans about an often misunderstood animal.
“People benefit from bats in one way or another, every day of their lives,” Caywood said. “With the Grotto, people learn how important they actually are.”
Then summer reading shifts from natural science to innovative technology when Tulsa’s mobile FabLab visits on Tuesday, June 28. The state-of-the-art mobile lab consists of separate lab units for each piece of equipment, and the trailer converts into a workshop. Kids and teens will learn how to use 2D design software to design a project such as a sign, bag tag, coaster, keychain or a bookmark. After which, they’ll use the Epilog CO2 laser to cut, engrave and score their project onto wood, cardboard, acrylic or craft foam. Depending on which project is selected and the number of people at the FabLab at any given time, activities can take 30 minutes to one hour.
Jessica Howe, SPL teen librarian, is eager to bring this hands-on program to the community.
“Being exposed to, and learning how to use, new technologies gives kids and teens a leg up when looking into future careers,” Howe said. “It also builds problem-solving and critical thinking skills while being a fun, creative activity.”
The Echolocation Grotto and the mobile FabLab are free, open to the public and part of the SPL’s 2022 “Oceans of Possibilities” summer reading program.
Visit library.stillwater.org/summer_@_your_library.php to register for summer reading, sign up to attend programs, log reading time and earn prizes.
The library encourages the community to check for updates about the status of programs at library.stillwater.org and follow the library on social media channels @StillwaterOKLib. Anyone registered for the events will receive emails about cancellations and rescheduled dates and times.
Summer reading is sponsored in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Oklahoma Department of Libraries, the National Science Foundation and the Friends of the Stillwater Public Library.
The Stillwater Public Library is located at 1107 S. Duck St. Library hours are Monday- Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m