We recently started a Lego Club at our library and it was a HUGE success. Our monthly meetings regularly attract crowds of up to 200 people on what would normally be quiet Saturday mornings.
The club is most popular with school-age kids although it is open to children from 2-14 years. For safety reasons, kids under 4 are directed to the “Toddlers’ Area” which I create in the corner using our storytime rug and a wall of chairs for the parents. Here we have age-appropriate Duplo blocks.
The rest of the room has tables and chairs set up and I put a pile of Legos at each table. The entire program lasts 1 1/2 hours but it could easily go longer, I often have to steer kids to the door who just want to add that last piece to their creation. The program encourages free play and the kids love collaborating on magnificent creations that I take pictures of and post on our Children’s Department’s Facebook page.
Despite the large crowds, the program only needs 1 staff member in the room to answer questions, take pictures, and keep an eye out for wandering toddlers. Set up is easy and at the end of each program the kids and their parents always help clean up the Legos. We purchased a few new sets of Legos and Duplo blocks with funds from our Friends group but most of the Legos came from library and city staff members whose own kids had simply outgrown them. You would be amazed at how many of your colleagues have a bucket of Legos in the garage. Thanks to these generous donations, we have been able to create a cheap and very popular program that not only attracts school-age boys to the library on a Saturday morning (a feat in itself) but it also helps give our circulation statistics a bump after every club meeting.
With libraries facing dire budgetary times, starting a Lego Club is a great way to show the community that the library is attuned to its interests and needs while still staying on a budget.
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