Spurring Imagination at Sarasota County Libraries

Spurring Imagination at Sarasota County Libraries

Imagine a child walking into a library, and instead of finding a wall of hardcover books and editorials, they discover an oasis of high-tech tools, gadgets and gizmos. In this space, students can dream, invent and design whatever idea comes to their mind.

Nearly three-quarters of Sarasota County’s residents own library cards. However, while books still get checked out and returned, many aspects of modern-day libraries serve roles beyond loaning books, periodicals and other printed media. Their integration with emerging technology is inspiring new ways of thinking, enriching the communities they exist in, and opening the door for education and new career opportunities for the people they serve. Thanks to Sarasota County libraries’ new intergenerational offerings, families can learn and grow together in a safe, engaging and collaborative environment. The Creation Station program is a game-changer for our community and library system.

A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never-failing spring in the desert.

– Andrew Carnegie

These stations serve as dedicated 21st-century spaces where equipment, technology, and experienced instructors are available to guide hands-on learning on a number of subjects. These stations attract new library users and keep children and teens engaged in active learning. They also provide opportunities for intergenerational audiences to exchange ideas and explore educational topics, life skills, and arts and cultural experiences together.

After an extensive period of listening to the community about interests and needs, Sarasota County developed an action plan to implement a creation station program in seven Sarasota County libraries.eaturing state-of-the-art technology ranging from virtual reality equipment, 3D printers and video software, to sewing machines and cooking supplies, the creation stations offer something for everyone. Hearing this, the Barancik Foundation met the community’s wishes by investing $647,000 in the development of these new learning spaces.

With sustainability for the stations in mind, the Library Foundation for Sarasota County launched a fundraising campaign to establish a $1 million endowment to maintain the stations. When $700,000 is raised toward the endowment, Barancik Foundation will also cap it off with a $300,000 gift.

To learn how you can partner with on this exciting project, go here: https://sarasotalibraryfoundation.org/give-the-gift-of-creativity/

Creation Station Offerings

Elsie Quirk Library
STEAM Skills, Video Production, Life Skills Development, and Digitization/Preservation Station.

Fruitville Library
STEAM Skills, Video Production, Interactive Displays, Digitization Preservation Station, and Creative Gaming.

Gulf Gate Library
STEAM Skills, Video Production, Interactive Displays, Digitization Preservation Station, Computer Literacy, Culinary Literacy, Creative Gaming, and Art Education.

Jacaranda Library
STEAM Skills, Retro Making, Life Skills Development, Digitization and Preservation Station, Audio/Video Production, and Co-Working Space.

North Port Library
STEAM Skills, Retro Making, Audio/Video Production, Musical Literacy, Life Skills Development, Culinary Literacy, Creative Gaming, and Art Education.

North Sarasota Library
Computer Literacy, STEAM Skills, and Culinary Literacy.

Selby Library
Art Education, STEAM Skills, and Retro Making.

Shannon Staub Library
Audio Production, Retro Making, Life Skills Development, Culinary Literacy, and STEAM Skills.