Sphero BOLT Lending Kits

Sphero BOLT is an educational robot ball designed for ages 8 and up. The robot works in conjunction with the free Sphero Edu app, where you can drive the robot, create programs, and even write your own code.

We’re excited to offer Sphero BOLT kits for checkout at Winona Public Library! Here’s what you’ll find in each kit:

♦  A quick-start guide
♦  A Sphero BOLT robot
♦  A charging cradle and USB charging cord -- USB wall adapter not included
♦  A protractor
♦  A silicone sleeve for the robot

Are you interested in checking out a BOLT kit? Fill out this request form, and we will contact you. Checkout time is four weeks, with no renewals allowed. Limit one kit per household.

These kits are available as part of Tecreation @ WPL, a new makerspace program made possible with funding from a grant from the Minnesota Department of Education using federal funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Library Services and Technology Act [LS 00-20-0024-20].

We are looking forward to hosting in-person Tecreation programs in the future, and we’re committed to bringing these experiences to youth across Winona. Stay tuned!

About Sphero Edu

♦  For more information about using Sphero BOLT at home, check out Sphero’s At-Home Guide.

♦  You can find examples of coding activities on the Sphero Edu website, or by downloading the Sphero Edu app on your device. There are activities for a wide range of skill levels, so if you’re at all interested, go ahead and request a kit!
♦  Check your device’s compatibility with Sphero Edu before requesting. The robot type is Sphero Bolt 2018.

Robot care tips

If you check out a kit, you are responsible for any lost or damaged parts. The robot is designed for use by kids, but be nice to it! Here are some dos and don’ts:

♦  Take care of the robot for the next person. Don’t throw, drop, or kick the robot, and don’t try to take the robot apart.

♦  Keep the robot in sight when you are using it. We don’t want it to get lost or damaged.

♦  Use the robot indoors only. It works best on surfaces that are mostly smooth and flat. If you’re using it on a shiny floor, you may want to use the silicone sleeve so the robot can get traction.

♦  If the robot gets dirty, wipe it clean with soapy water. Do not use harsh chemicals on the robot.

♦  When you are finished charging the robot, take it off the charger. Disconnect the charger when you are not using it.

♦  If the robot breaks, contact the library right away. Email us at winonapl@selco.info, or call youth services at 452-4592.

Cubelets Robot Kits

We’re excited to offer Cubelets Robot Kits for checkout at Winona Public Library! Cubelets is an educational robot building kit best for ages 4 and up. Younger children will need supervision.

Cubelets activities are self-guided with the included instruction booklet, so you can teach yourself to make and play with the robot blocks. A device is not necessary for beginner and intermediate activities, but some of the more advanced coding functions only work in conjunction with Cubelets Console, which you can access at https://console.modrobotics.com/. To use Cubelets Console, you will need a desktop, laptop, or tablet with Bluetooth and internet.

Here’s what you’ll find in each kit:

♦  9 cubelets
♦  3 square plastic pieces
♦  21 activity cards
♦  1 flashlight
♦  1 charging cable
♦  1 instructional booklet

Interested in checking out a Cubelets Robot Kit? Fill out this request form, and we will contact you. Checkout time is four weeks, with no renewals allowed. To make sure kits are available to lots of patrons, there is a limit of one kit at a time per household.

These kits are available as part of Tecreation @ WPL, a new makerspace program made possible with a grant from the Minnesota Department of Education using federal funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Library Services and Technology Act [LS 00-20-0024-20].

The library also hosts in-person Tecreation programs at the library and other community locations, and we’re committed to bringing these experiences to youth across Winona.

About Cubelets

For more information about using Cubelets at home, check out Cubelets’ Getting Started Guide. You can also read free starter lesson plans all about exploring Cubelets, tailored to different age groups.

Cubelets Robot Kit care tips

This kit is designed for use by kids, but be nice to it! Here are some dos and don’ts:

♦  Take care of the kit for the next person. Don’t throw, drop, or kick the pieces, and don’t try to take individual pieces apart.

♦  Keep the Cubelets in sight when you are using them. Use the Cubelets indoors only. A hard surface, like a table, is best.

♦  When you are finished charging the battery Cubelet, take it off the charger.

♦  If any part of the kit breaks, contact the library. Email us at winonapl@selco.info, or call youth services at 452-4592.

littleBits Circuit Kits

We’re excited to offer littleBits Circuit Kits for checkout at Winona Public Library! littleBits is an educational circuit-building kit best for ages 8 and up. littleBits activities are self-guided with the included instruction booklet, so you can teach yourself to make and play with the circuit pieces. You do not need a device.

Here’s what you’ll find in each kit:

♦  5 circuit pieces
♦  11 accessories
♦  1 9V battery
♦  1 instructional booklet

Interested in checking out a littleBits Circuit Kit? Fill out this request form, and we will contact you. Checkout time is four weeks, with no renewals allowed. To make sure kits are available to lots of patrons, there is a limit of one kit at a time per household.

These kits are available as part of Tecreation @ WPL, a new makerspace program made possible with a grant from the Minnesota Department of Education using federal funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Library Services and Technology Act [LS 00-20-0024-20].

The library also hosts in-person Tecreation programs at the library and other community locations, and we’re committed to bringing these experiences to youth across Winona.

About littleBits

For more information about using littleBits at home, check out littleBits’ At-Home Guide. You can also see a curriculum of different lessons you can try with this kit.

littleBits Kit care tips

This kit is designed for use by kids, but be nice to it! Here are some dos and don’ts:

♦  Take care of the kit for the next person. Don’t throw, drop, or kick the pieces, and don’t try to take individual pieces apart. Don't twist or crimp the wire bits.

♦  Keep the littleBits in sight when you are using them. Use the littleBits indoors only. A hard surface, like a table, is best.

♦  Don't try to clean the littleBits. Leave that to us!

♦  Keep littleBits away from children under 3.

♦  If any part of the kit breaks, contact the library. Email us at winonapl@selco.info, or call youth services at 452-4592.

Making History: Celebrate Black Artists

Black History Month is a celebration in which we recognize important historical events, Black leaders, and steps towards collective change. Each week, this series will highlight a Black artist and changemaker and provide an accompanying activity to complete at home.

Week 1: Alma Thomas: Teacher and Painter

Week 2: Nicolas Brothers: Dancers and Innovators

Week 3: Alexander Miles: Inventor

Week 4: Christian Robinson: Author and Illustrator


Celebrating Black Stories: More than a Month
This booklist contains books for children and teens in our collection. It is not comprehensive. If you’d like more title suggestions, please feel free to reach out to winonapl@selco.info or 507-452-4582.

Celebrating Black Stories: More than a Month

A Booklist for Children & Teens

Black History Month is a celebration in which we recognize important historical events, honorable leaders, and steps towards collective change. We believe this celebration should be continuous. Inspired by the San Francisco Public Library, this booklist is titled “More Than a Month” in an effort to emphasize that reflection, open dialogue, and shared advocacy needs to take place in our community during Black History Month, as well as year-round.

This booklist contains books for children and teens in our collection. It is not comprehensive. If you’d like more title suggestions, please feel free to reach out to winonapl@selco.info or 507-452-4582.

Black Freedom Struggle Website: Free Primary Source Documents

ProQuest invites you to explore the new Black Freedom Struggle website, featuring expertly selected open primary source documents. Visitors will find historical newspaper articles, pamphlets, diaries, correspondence and more from specific time periods in U.S. history marked by the opposition African Americans have faced on the road to freedom.

This resource supports a wide range of students, from middle and high school to college, as well independent researchers and anyone interested in learning more about the ongoing Black Freedom Struggle. These reliable, easily discoverable materials may be used for homework assignments, personal inquiry, research papers and National History Day type-projects focused on African American history in the U.S.

Educators may use this material to teach a specific topic or person, such as Frederick Douglass or the Abolitionist Movement, to introduce students to using primary sources and to help novice researchers develop essential critical thinking and information literary skills.

Available at no cost, the content is curated around six time periods:
♦  Resistance to Slavery and the Abolitionist Movement (1790-1860)
♦  The Civil War and the Reconstruction Era (1861-1877)
♦  Jim Crow Era from 1878 to the Great Depression (1878-1932)
♦  The New Deal and World War II (1933-1945)
♦  The Civil Rights and Black Power Movements (1946-1975)
♦  The Contemporary Era (1976-2000)

Reading Recommendations

We know many of you like coming to the desk to ask our librarians what you or your child should read next. Good news! We're still more than happy to do that for you! Just fill out the information in the form and one of our librarians will respond to you with a few title suggestions. If you have questions, feel free to email winonapl@selco.info.

Ask a Librarian for Help (form)

We also have compiled several lists of recommended reads below:

Picture Books

Beginner Chapter Books

Intermediate Chapter Books

Middle School Reads

High School Reads

Books to Lead a Conversation About Racism

Books Written by Indigenous Authors

Celebrating Black Stories: More than a Month

LGBTQ History Month Booklist

Read with PRIDE

Remembering Congressman John Lewis

Women's Suffrage

Books to Lead the Conversation About Racism

Winona Public Library staff recognizes that we as white individuals do not have the lived experience to fully understand the racism and prejudice that people of color endure every day. As information professionals, we are always looking for resources that will help us learn and be better. We've compiled a short list of books in our collection for children and teens that can help start a conversation around racism. This list is not comprehensive. If you'd like more title suggestions, please reach out at winonapl@selco.info, and one of our librarians will be happy to assist.