Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Tips for Circulating Technology Kits

Someone in our library had the idea: why not allow children to bring home a piece of our makerspace, the TEA Room (Technology, Engineering, and Art). Thus the TEA kit, our circulating technology kit was born. We started circulating them a year ago, and at one time we had over ten holds on one kit. The kits were intended for the same age range as our makerspace, patrons in grades 3-6, but over the year we’ve expanded that range to include younger patrons. There were a few bumps along the way, so I present five tips to help you get started with circulating your own technology kits.

  1. Start with what you have. We had some technology we didn’t use as often for programs anymore, like the LittleBits Kit and the Sphero, so we decided to make them into a kit for circulation.TEA Kit with plastic box, sphero, charger, ramp, and instructions
  2. Print instructions and ideas for use. For some of our tech it came with a manual, for others, we could easily find it online, and then there were some we had to create. We didn’t include instructions, and we got many phone calls with questions, and let me say it is not easy trying to describe how to use the Osmo and iPad over the phone. (Also laminate them!)
  3. Create a tag that lists all the parts with pictures. This will come in handy when patrons are checking if they have all the components before bringing it back, but it will also help when checking in and out the kits.  TEA Kit tag with all contents of kit labeled
  4. Try them out yourself with your staff. Not only is it fun to play with tech tools, but you also get to learn how to use them, what features it has, and how to troubleshoot if a patron has problems. Let your staff try them out too, just in case they get asked a question about them.
  5. Link it to your makerspace or programming. We’ve done programs and STEAM storytimes based around some of our TEA Kits, and that boosted circulation. We also advertised the kit by saying, take home a piece of the TEA Room, which increased our makerspace use.

Two kids playing with LittleBits


Do you have any quick tips about circulating technology? I’d love to hear any in the comments!

Photos courtesy of guest blogger


Tori Ann Ogawa is a children’s librarian and the Harold W. McGraw Jr. Fellow at Darien Library in Connecticut and is writing this post for the ALSC Children and Technology Committee.You can tweet her @ToriOgawa.


  1. Kathia ibacache

    Thank you, Tori.
    This is a great idea.

  2. Brienne

    What do you do if they bring it back broken? Do you charge the patron?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *