Spark a Culture of Innovation

Spark a Culture of Innovation: Vermont Libraries and Makers












Summer reading this year includes exciting new science programs in 14 Vermont libraries thanks to a Vermont Community Foundation Innovations and Collaborations grant in support of the Collaborative Summer Library Program theme, “Science”. 

The program bringing these programs to 14 libraries around the state was itself a creative collaboration. Craftsbury Library Director Susan O’Connell worked with the Department of Libraries Continuing Education Coordinator Mara Siegel and Jenn Karson, Founder of Vermont Makers to obtain the grant.   Vermont Makers, a community that encourages projects that blend the arts, sciences, and technology, is providing the curriculum development with the help of UVM’s College of Engineering and Mathematical Science Department. Other partners include Vermont Public Library Foundation, Champlain Maker Faire, and the Vermont Library Association.
The Vermont Department of Libraries reviewed the competitive applications and chose the participating libraries listed below.  Libraries will host two programs each, chosen from the following topics:
  • E-textiles,
  • E-Origami,
  • Toy Hacking,
  • Squishy Circuits, and
  • Creature Creations
Most programs will run for 3 hours and be designed to engage an audience of children 11 years and older, although some will be appropriate for younger children.
Each program will come with the necessary curriculum and materials which will become property of the library for future use. To learn more about the programs available, please see:
Creative Creatures: Solar Powered Plastic Fantastics
Toy Hacking: Because Your Toy is More Fun on the Inside!
From Space Suits to High Fashion: A Hands-on Introduction to E-textiles
Squishy Circuits: Building Circuits with Conductive Play Dough
Tape, Paper, Circuits: E-origami
All of the curricula will be available free online to all libraries by the end of the summer.


To learn more about each program and the dates and times please contact the libraries directly.

Aldrich Public Library: Summer Reading Program

Bennington Free Library:  Library Website

Castleton Free Library: Library Website

Charlotte Library: Summer Reading Program

Craftsbury Public Library: Summer Reading Program

Fairfax Community Library: Library Website

Groton Free Public Library: Library Website

Deborah Rawson Memorial Library: Library Website

Jericho Town Library: Summer Reading Program

Poultney Public Library:  Library Website

Quechee Public Library: Library Website

Arvin A. Brown Public Library: Library Website

Warren Public Library: Library Website

Westford Public Library Library Website

Dorothy Alling Memorial Library: Library Website

For more information about the grant contact:

Susan O’Connell at or (802)586-9683 

Mara Siegel at or (802)828-2727


For information about the program curriculum contact:

Jenn Karson at


For more about the Vermont Community Foundation and its Innovations and Collaborations grants:

The Vermont Community Foundation