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Off the Shelf: Library of Things at NU

New Ulm Public Library is pleased to introduce the Library of Things! The Library of Things is a collection of non-traditional library items that complement the library’s mission to “share as a community a haven for learning, imagination, discovery.” It has been a hard year, and we hope to help you stay engaged and learning this winter while you stay close to home.

The Library of Things will include home and assistive devices, audiovisual equipment, science and technology, video and board games, musical instruments, sporting equipment, and learning toys. The focus of this collection is meeting our patrons’ cultural, information, educational, and recreational needs.

If you’d like to view a complete list of the items available, visit our online catalog at tds-mt.iii.com/iii/encore/ and search for “New Ulm Public Library of Things.” To start, our Library of Things includes a portable keyboard, a guitar, a ukulele, an electronic drum kit, a kalimba thumb piano, portable disc golf and beanbag toss games, snow sleds, a snow fort-building kit, a nature watching kit, a telescope, a light therapy lamp, an air quality meter, classic video gaming systems, magnetic blocks, STEM toys, and more!

Patrons must be 18 years of age or older and sign a lending agreement, so please send the adult in your family to check out a Thing. There is no cost to borrow a Thing. Things can be checked out for one week with no renewals, although you’re certainly welcome to come back later and pick up your favorite Thing again sometime.

In addition to the Library of Things, we’ve added four storytime kits, one for each season of the year. The kits each include three books, two activities, and a hand puppet. Check out a kit start exploring with your child.

Check back in the next few weeks for the debut of our board game collection, full of fun family games that can be checked out. We hope this collection gives our patrons a chance to spend time learning a new game at home with your loved ones. We will offer games for all ages, as well as games that offer a variety of types of gameplay (We realize that not everyone is a ruthless master strategist!). Our board game collection will also include copies of the games we’ve played in our “Don’t Forget the Instructions” video demonstration series. If you’d like to see library staff play example rounds of “Schrodinger’s Cats,” “The Crew: Quest for Planet Nine,” or “Concept,” check out the New Ulm Public Library YouTube channel. Then stop by the library to check out the games.

Coming soon: Launchpads! Launchpads are tablets for kids that are preloaded with games and activities and the contents are curated by topic for specific age ranges. These tablets are easy to navigate, and do not have internet access, so you can be sure your child is sticking to the preloaded activities. Patrons 18 years or older can check out one tablet for a week at a time, then come back later to pick a differently-themed tablet for their child to enjoy.

Call 507-359-8331 or stop by the library for more information and to pick up a Thing, storytime kit, board game, or Launchpad. We’ve got plenty to keep your family engaged and busy at home this winter.

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