New Mexico State Library

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Los Lunas Summer Time: STEAM, Chalk, and Augmented Reality

The New Mexico State Library is pleased to be participating in the state-wide Summer Intern program to offer experience in the operations of the state library and working for the state of New Mexico.  We have two excellent graduate interns working with the NMSL Development Bureau on our upcoming Circulating Kits and Traveling Exhibits program and with our Youth Services Coordinator on Summer Reading site visitsJennifer Chen is a native Californian and a recent MLIS graduate from San Jose State University expanding on her experience in public libraries in California.  Marley Jameson-Sisneros will begin her MLIS studies this Fall after working in academic libraries as an undergraduate and is discovering new parts of her native New Mexico.  Jennifer and Marley will be reporting on their experiences and takeaways from library visits around the state. 

By Jennifer Chen

“Welcome All Together Now!” in colorful chalk before the entrance of Los Lunas Public Library.

After our trip north to the Taos Public Library and Embudo Valley Community Library, we will be heading south to Bosque Farms and Los Lunas for this library field trip. I will be covering the Los Lunas Public Library while my fellow intern Marley will be covering Bosque Farms.  

When we approached Los Lunas Public Library, we were greeted to a wonderfully colorful sidewalk. This was part of Los Lunas’ Chalk Party event, where patrons could reserve a square on the sidewalk and decorate it however they’d like. One of the best pieces was the one before the front door, with the words, “Welcome All Together Now!” in bubbly, colorful lettering.  

We met up with Catherine Best, Children’s Librarian, and Ronda Sanchez, STEM Specialist, to talk about the different programming that Los Lunas Public Library provides to its patrons. I was awed when we walked into the teen room. The room was an enclosed space with computers and a console gaming set up. There was even a little karaoke machine! Something that impressed me was the Augmented Reality (AR) book. Ronda showed us how the book worked with the app she has on her phone. Characters within the illustrations on the page spring to life when viewed through the app. The characters don’t read the text, but they engage and prompt the reader to think about the material read. This was the first time I’ve experienced this technology, I was amazed! 

One of the new Augmented Reality books...
...and the Augmented Reality in action!

Both Catherine and Ronda explained to us a bit more about the programming they were providing their patrons during the summer. So far, their summer reading program has been quite successful with about 157 sign ups; their Exotics of the Rainforest program had over 100 people come out to see the animals. The teen summer reading programming consisted of mainly STEM-related classes. Some of the activities included a virtual Python class, Cubelets, and Indi cars. The STEM classes also work together to do one science project per month; I got to peek at one of their projects which was a solar oven, they made s’mores with it. The Explora museum also comes out to the library to do programming for middle schoolers.  

With all these activities, summer reading at the Los Lunas Public Library is an educational and exciting time for all their patrons. Follow along with what Los Lunas Public Library is doing on their Facebook page.

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