Let There Be Legos

Posted on December 9, 2013 at 6:00 am

Kids_Post_LegoBuildMix fun and learning by spending a Saturday creating engineering feats at the library! SCLD is hosting a series of day-long Lego Build Days, one at each library throughout 2014. The library will provide thousands (current count is roughly 47,000 270+ pounds which is about 150,000 pieces!) of Lego pieces for kids and families to build.

Drop in for an hour or all day! Doors open at 10am and we’ll finish up building by 5pm so that we have plenty of time to put the display together. Enjoy some snacks and build to your heart’s content. Your awesome creations will be on display at that library for the duration of the month. Then, they will be dismantled, sorted, and shipped off to the next library for their Lego Build Day! Feel free to follow the Legos to as many building days as you like!

We are excited to offer this program as a wonderful opportunity to support of local education movements like STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and engage our community members of all ages. A special thank you to the Friends of the Library and community members for all the generous donations of Legos that made this possible.

Mark your calendars now and plan to join us for this fun, family friendly event. All ages welcome, but children 6 and under should be accompanied by an adult.

CHENEY
Saturday, Jan 4, 10am-5pm

ARGONNE
Saturday, Feb 1, 10am-5pm

AIRWAY HEIGHTS
Saturday, Mar 1, 10am-5pm

FAIRFIELD
Saturday, Mar 1, 10am-5pm

OTIS ORCHARDS
Saturday, Apr 5, 10am-5pm

DEER PARK
Saturday, May 3, 10am-5pm

MORAN PRAIRIE
Saturday, Jun 7, 10am-5pm

MEDICAL LAKE
Saturday, Oct 4, 10am-5pm

NORTH SPOKANE
Saturday, Nov 1, 10am-5pm

SPOKANE VALLEY
Saturday, Dec 6, 10am-5pm

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12 Comments

  • Courtney says:

    Why is this still here?
    There are no more events!
    My son was very excited when he saw this only to find out that the opportunity no longer exists.

  • David Luders says:

    The first event listed does not correspond to the Jan 2014 Calendar. It should say Saturday, January 4th (not 14th) for the Cheney, WA event. Also, why are there two towns listed for Sat., March 1st (Airway Heights and Fairfield)? Are you going to split up the ~47,000 bricks into two piles?

  • David Luders says:

    Just out of curiosity:
    1) How did the first event (in Cheney) go?
    2) Did you have to turn away any kids because of a lack of bricks or room? Do you suggest families to arrive by a certain time to ensure that they can get in on the fun?
    3) Is there a “free-for-all” of bricks (where everything is dumped on the floor in a giant pile)? Or, does each kid get a certain quantity of bricks to work with?
    4) How many Lego bricks do you have now? You had 47,000 bricks on Dec 9th….
    5) Are you still wanting more Lego donations? If so, what kind of bricks are wanted/needed?

    • Hi David,

      1) It went awesome! We had 152 people drop in and build.
      2) Everyone who came was able to build. We had plenty of bricks and enough room. Participants were great sharers, helped each other find needed pieces and many projects were collaborated on by strangers. The busiest times were before lunch and just after. By 3:00 the crowd had thinned. On average participants were there between 1 1/2 and 2 hours so arriving by 3:30 would give a good amount of build time.
      3) We have 32 bins of Legos. Most are 15 QT. tubs, some are larger. The tubs were placed around the room and people gathered around them which helped manage the space. As more people came more tubs went out. By the end of the day, as space allowed, many tubs had been spread across the floor. Because we have such a large collection everyone was welcome to build as much as they wanted. Some made many items and others spent hours on one masterpiece.
      4) That was a really conservative estimate. With money donated by the Friends of the Library we were able to buy 240 lbs. of Legos and 23 lbs. of Duplo Legos. Community members have donated an additional 30+ lbs. So, it’s probably more like 150,000+ pieces. Thus far no one has volunteered to count and get an exact number!
      5) Yes. Community members have been so generous and we are very thankful. We have a large collection and if we continue to get donations we will be able to look at breaking the collection into more than one and increasing our Lego program options. We currently do not have enough Lego bases (the large flat building base) for everyone who might want one so we are definitely looking for those but any donation will be used and appreciated!

  • Brian says:

    We missed the second event at Argonne this past Saturday — how did it go? Do you think that the kids are getting some good STEM-type education from their play? Do they walk out of the library with a book while they’re there? I’m curious to know if the organizers and Friends of the Library are pleased with the results so far….

    • Hi Brian, the Lego event at Argonne was amazing. We had 357 people (kids and adults) participate over the course of last Saturday. On a typical Saturday at the Argonne Library, about 90 kids books are checked out. This last Saturday, we checked out 401 kids’ books. Families were renewing their library cards, checking out stacks of books, and playing together. Families seem to spend about 2 hours building together.

      Legos are especially fun, because while there are no limits to what you can build, the bricks have a logic of their own, and you have to plan and build within those parameters. As far as STEM learning (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), here’s what happens when kids play with Legos:
      • Counting, sorting, spatial awareness (math)
      • Designing and modeling (engineering)
      • Planning, experimentation, and testing. (science)

      So the quick answer is, yes, the organizers and Friends of the Library are very pleased with the results.

  • Holly says:

    Now that the third event (in both Airway Heights & Fairfield on March 1st) is done, can the organizers tell whether:

    1) There was an appreciable “bump” in interest after “The Lego Movie”?
    2) There were any Spokane City Library patrons, or Idahoans, participating in the SCLD event? Are all visitors welcome regardless of whether or not they pay taxes to support the SCLD?
    3) No additional publicity is needed, so as not to overwhelm the small SCLD branches with too many people?
    4) At the end of 2014, there will be enough Legos to allow more simultaneous events at SCLD branches in 2015? Having read through the dialogue above, if 357 people had ~150,000 pieces to play with at the Argonne Library event, that’s 420 parts per person but if you divide that into two piles, that only leaves 200 parts per person.
    5) The exact number of plastic bins that have specific SCLD branches labelled on them will all return to their “home” branch after 2014? Do the “Friends of the Library” donations gathered at each branch all come back in the same quantities as what they started with, or will 150,000 parts all be divided equally amongst the SCLD branches?

    • Hi Holly, thanks for your questions.

      1) There was an appreciable “bump” in interest after “The Lego Movie”?
      Not especially. We had our largest group to date on Saturday, February 1 at the Argonne Library (357 people over the course of the day). The Lego movie opened on the following weekend, February 7. The attendance seems to be more related to the size of the community surrounding the library. For example, our Fairfield Library had 72 individuals attend, while 106 people participated at the Airway Heights Library.

      2) There were any Spokane City Library patrons, or Idahoans, participating in the SCLD event? Are all visitors welcome regardless of whether or not they pay taxes to support the SCLD?
      All library programs in Spokane County Library District are free and open to anyone, regardless of whether they have a library card with us, or are a resident of Spokane County. Therefore we don’t track this data.

      3) No additional publicity is needed, so as not to overwhelm the small SCLD branches with too many people?
      At this point, we have no plans for additional publicity. Our communities are really very interested in this type of programming and people are talking about it. We are also seeing a lot of social media activity around this program. Since it’s an all day, drop-in program, we have not had any issues with space.

      4) At the end of 2014, there will be enough Legos to allow more simultaneous events at SCLD branches in 2015? Having read through the dialogue above, if 357 people had ~150,000 pieces to play with at the Argonne Library event, that’s 420 parts per person but if you divide that into two piles, that only leaves 200 parts per person.
      At this point in time, yes, there will be more than enough Legos to allow for many more programs in 2015. We are currently planning some Lego building programs at libraries during the summer months (Watch the website for more details). The 150,000 Legos was a pretty conservative estimate, based upon the weight. We currently have 56 bins (15 quart size) of Legos, and no one has yet volunteered to count them all! Argonne Library started their program with 33 bins, and sent 16 bins of unused Legos back after their program. We display the various Lego creations for the entire month after the program. There have been some very ingenious and creative constructions at each event.

      5) The exact number of plastic bins that have specific SCLD branches labelled on them will all return to their “home” branch after 2014? Do the “Friends of the Library” donations gathered at each branch all come back in the same quantities as what they started with, or will 150,000 parts all be divided equally amongst the SCLD branches?
      When the Friends of the Library donated money to help purchase the Legos for this program, they understood that they were contributing to a library district wide resource. Most of the libraries don’t have the space to store multiple bins of Legos for the long term, so they will be housed centrally when not being used for programs. Having said that, we are amazed at how many Legos we have amassed (and continue to do so) and are looking forward to being able to utilize them in all of our libraries over the coming years.

  • Mark Lyons says:

    Whoa! It must take a while to disassemble 150,000 Legos after each Lego Build Day — somebody is sure to have sore fingers! :)
    We’re looking forward to upcoming events. Having read the thread above, my family is particularly interested when an organizer wrote “We are currently planning some Lego building programs at libraries during the summer months (Watch the website for more details).” Will the summer event(s) be one-day affairs, or all-week fun? Since SCLD seems to have plenty of Legos, do you plan on adding your event to the Spokesman-Review’s upcoming Summer Camp listings ( http://spokesman.com/summercamps-form/ )? Their deadline is this Fri., Apr 4 at 5 PM. Kids who know about these events are sure to have lots of summertime fun!

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