Logo adapted from the Arduino Community Logo, courtesy of our graphic/web design wizard

Logo adapted from the Arduino Community Logo, courtesy of our graphic/web design wizard

It’s been a few months in the making, but I’m proud to finally announce that my library now lends Arduino Uno kits to teens and adults with a library card. I can’t claim the idea completely; it’s been a good collaboration among of a few of us to develop the kit’s contents, policies, a procedure workflow, and marketing materials. This is my first time to have a hand in implementing a new item type for checkout, though, so that’s very exciting for me personally. I hope that our patrons enjoy it–and a feedback survey is included in each kit to find out whether they do.

Arduino Kit contents

What the inside of the kit looks like.


The steps involved were:

  1. Determining goals of the kit–we settled on a very introductory kit, which minimizes costs and staff time in checking/replenishment;
  2. Determining what types of components to include;
  3. Comparison shopping, which also had bearing on what components to include and in what quantity;
  4. Ordering components;
  5. Assembling kits;
  6. Determining lending policies;
  7. Determining internal workflow–Circulation sets each returned kit aside for review/replenishment by the Computer Services department;
  8. Communicating with other departments, namely Technical Services and Circulation, to implement these policies and procedures with minimal strain;
  9. Designing and printing packaging for the kits;
  10. Sending completed kits to Technical Services for cataloging;
  11. Sending cataloged kits to Circulation for checkout;
  12. Designing promotional materials.

One of said promotional materials is the LibGuide, which I created a short URL for, so that flyers (for example) could direct patrons to more details, rather than trying to cram all information on the flyer. I will continue expanding the LibGuide with a description of kit contents and a schedule of upcoming workshops.

Although a few steps of this process could have been improved, I am pleased with how it has worked out overall, and it has been a valuable learning experience. Having open-minded and supportive supervisors and colleagues has been a great boon. Of course, it’s not over, but rather just begun, and I’m curious to see how it goes. This is a pilot program that we’ll tweak as necessary and hopefully expand.

A full component breakdown will come in a later post. Feel free to write or tweet me if you have questions/suggestions/ideas in this area.

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