MAITLAND, FL, February 16, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Gulf States Credit Union is putting up $500 in matching funds to help Maitland Public Library reach its goal of creating "Try This at Home" take home science experiment kits. The impetus for the project stems from the nationwide STEM initiative, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Maitland Public Library is adding the Arts to the mix, thus, offering STEAM kits.
"We want to get our community excited about the STEAM initiative and it fit in perfectly with our upcoming summer reading theme, which is 'Fizz, Boom, Read!" for grade school children, 'Spark a Reaction' for teens and 'Literary Elements' for adults. Overall, it's all about science and what better way to bring this home than to offer take home kits loaded with hands-on experiments, gadgets, books, dvds and reproducible activity sheets!", said Jonathan Dolce, Youth Services Librarian at Maitland Public Library. "We are truly grateful and fortunate to have partners like Gulf States Credit Union. They were instrumental in our obtaining computers, educational software, furnishings and paint, all for our growing Youth Services department".
Maitland Public Library's annual Valentine Tree promotion is a chance for community members to make cash donations of any size to help bring something extra to their local library's children's and youth sections. In the past, the Valentine Tree has fueled the growth of the picture book collection, a huge hand-painted and crafted wooden rainbow to mark the entrance of the children's picture book room, computers, computer furniture, educational software and paint for the children's and youth sections.
The STEAM kit initiative will offer tote box sized kits for checkout by library patrons and feature Lego and Engino building kits that reinforce simple machine concepts. Other kits will help reinforce concepts surrounding rocks and minerals, astronomy, bouancy, colors, microscopic life, magnetism, 3-D art, geometry, shapes and patterns, 2-D art, numbers, electricity, ecology and architecture.
The public can make donations in person at the Circulation Desk at Maitland Public Library, fill out a heart-shaped Valentine marking for their donation, and place the heart on the library's Valentine tree.
The kits will be available for circulation in early March, 2014.
A Library for the Maitland Community
With the donation of 360 books by Maitland resident Clara Dommerich, the Maitland Public Library was created in 1896. First housed in a local teacher's living room, the library later moved to a storefront on Horatio Avenue, near the railroad tracks. The current library building on South Maitland Avenue was built in 1907, with additions made to it in 1959, 1972, and 1989. Today the collection exceeds 85,000 items.
Although the Maitland Public Library was originally established, owned, and operated by Maitland residents, and governed by a Board of Trustees comprised of Maitland citizens, it became apparent by 1972 that expansion was needed to accommodate the increasing needs of Maitland's citizens. An agreement was forged with the City of Maitland to expand the library and its services to Maitland residents. Because the city could not use public funds to build on private property, the Board of Trustees agreed to turn over all physical assets of the library - the grounds, building, and collection - to the city. Under this arrangement, the city agreed to fund the operating budget of the library and to maintain the building and grounds. The library maintained its independent governance and nonprofit corporate status to allow the receipt of direct donations. This agreement permits the library to continue to exist as a nonprofit corporation operated by residents of the City of Maitland.
The Maitland Public Library is governed by volunteers serving on the Board of Trustees, to whom the Library Director reports. These citizens meet monthly to review existing services, discuss future plans, and make decisions as needed regarding library policy. While the Library Director is responsible for the general operation of the library and ensures that the library is operated in accordance with the guidelines of the American Library Association, the Board establishes the guidelines and procedures pertaining to library services and personnel.
(Historical information thanks to "The Maitland Public Library - A Century of Service" by Nancy Long. Maitland Public Library. Maitland, FL. 1996.)
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