CHS Library of Things


Create an experience for your patrons

Goals/Objectives for Technology or Service:  Cleveland High School students and staff will have access to a Library of Things, which will include a variety of learning and creative materiel for use at school or home. The library will support an environment of expression for their social, creative, and academic potential. Students will create new experiences.

Description of Community you wish to engage:  Cleveland High School has approximately 3,200 students. They range in age from 13 to 18 years old (with some special needs and language learners up to age 22). The overall student body is a broad mix of students, with varying languages and abilities. Sixty-two percent of our students qualify for the free or reduced lunch program. The ethnic breakdown of the student body is 61% Hispanic, 16% white, 12% Asian, 5% African American, and 4% other (LAUSD school profiles, 2011-12). There are 23 home languages other than English and Spanish.


Library of Things collection at Sacramento Public Library

Action Brief Statement:  Convince Cleveland HS students and staff that by utilizing materiel available to them from the Library of Things that they will be able to explore, create, and problem solve, providing them with fun unique experiences to make them feel successful because they have the opportunity to explore new ideas and experiences.

Evidence and Resources to support Technology or Service:

Mission, Guidelines, and Policy related to Technology or Service:  A library leadership team (LLT) composed of the teacher librarian, ten to fourteen students from a variety of grade levels, student organizations, and abilities, and two to four staff members would choose the materiel available for check out and establish policies for circulation. This would be in conjunction with principal approval and district policy. Length of circulation may vary depending on the item. Late fines and loss/replacement policies would be established by the LLT. We can look into other schools’ policies by making inquiries on Calibk12 (a listserv for CA school librarians established by CSLA).

Possible items include GoPro Cameras, knitting needles and yarn (to support the knitting club), Makey Makey kits, Legos, robotics equipment, Google Cardboard, craft supplies, seeds (for planting at school or home), supplies to create kites, mini microscopes and slides with slide covers, specimen samples, etc. Items will be of a small nature, as storage is a concern.

Funding Considerations for this Technology or Service:  The materiel for the Library of Things will come from donations, grants, and Donors Choose projects. Additional fund raising and/or requests may be made to the PTSA and local civic groups as necessary for larger ticket items, if deemed necessary.

Action Steps & Timeline:  The project will be phased in and grown over a two-year period. The library leadership team will meet and choose the initial items over a two-month period. Purchases and acquisitions will take place over the next three to nine months (and into the future if the project is deemed useful). Most items should be “acceptable” to the principal immediately, however, policies for loss/replacement of more expensive items will need to be approved if fines will be assessed for loss.

Staffing Considerations for this Technology or Service:  The teacher librarian and student volunteers will handle processing and distribution of the Library of Things materiel.

Training for this Technology or Service:  The teacher librarian and volunteer staff and students will handle training for robotics equipment, etc.  Student volunteers will be trained on how to use equipment, such as GoPro Cameras, so they can, in turn, explain to patrons how to use and care for equipment. Training will take place after school.

Promotion & Marketing for this Technology or Service:  Once a sufficient amount of “Things” are available in the collection (presumably within four months), traditional advertising will begin through the school PA system and the library website. In addition, a one to two minute informational video will be created with new branding for the Library of Things. The library leadership team will work in conjunction with the KCAV staff on production of this video, which will be aired on KCAV, an in-house TV station that provides a weekly broadcast each Friday for campus announcements. As new items are added to the Library of Things, additional announcements and/or videos will be created.

Evaluation:  Benchmarks for the success of the program will be at the end of the first semester, second semester, and second year of use to determine which items have been the most popular and which items should be added to/deleted from the Library of Things’ collection. Students will also be surveyed informally and formally to determine how the rollout is going. Are students aware of the available collection? Have they taken advantage of it? What would they like to see added to the collection? How do they feel about the collection (and the library)? How else might the library serve their needs?



Garrison, E. (2015, February 1). Borrow a sewing machine? Sacramento Public Library to start loaning more than books. Sacramento Bee. Retrieved from news/local/education/article8920145.html

Los Angeles Unified School District. (2011-12). School profiles: Grover Cleveland Charter High School [Webpage]. Retrieved from: fccgi.exe?w3exec=schoolprofile&which=8590

The New Media Consortium. (2016). NMC/CoSN Horizon Report: 2016 K-12 edition [online written report]. Retrieved from

Toronto Tool Library. (n.d.). Inside a ‘Library of things’ [Blog post]. Retrieved from

~ by on March 20, 2017.

3 Responses to “CHS Library of Things”

  1. Lori- This is a fun and well thought out idea! Having a place to check out more hands on materials would have been a great tool to keep me focused in high school. I wish we had something like this at my workplace for when I need a mental break from library work.

  2. Hi Lori, your first image “I don’t need a projector..” grabbed me and I kept going back to it because in essence this is what we want, an experience provided by the technology and not he technology of and in itself. Great project.

    • @Paula, the concept of the experience keeps bringing me back too. I hope to be able to manage some of these great ideas. I was looking at how to create 360 videos today. To start you need 6 identical GoPro-type cameras (ouch – expensive). Other plans will have to come first.

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