Topeka & Shawnee County Library – A Springboard for the Imagination


Would you ever think you could find a 3D Printer, creative cake pans for checkout, a room with illuminated model planets, an art gallery and programs focused on financial literacy – all under one roof?  How about in a library? Well, we found the perfect place for Girl Scouts!

Located in our West Region is a new Community Partner that uses reading as a springboard for programs in just about every field imaginable. The Topeka & Shawnee County Library is home to amazing workshops and events designed with girls and age groups in mind.

“We are fortunate to have community support that allows us to not just focus on smaller kids out of necessity, we have the support to offer events to a wide range of ages,” Natalie Moreland, Kids Library Specialist said.

The library offers a wide range of rooms and equipment for use by our Girl Scouts.  One of our favorites is the Make-It Lab, which has amazing resources – perfect for letting girls be Makers!  A 3D Printer is available for girls to design and print creations ($5/print) and media bags can be checked out by leaders or parents to let girls create fun videos or even create a troop podcast.

Don’t miss the Alice C. Sabatini Art Gallery, which offers rotating exhibits and free classes.  If you’re in the mood to create at home, the library has fun shaped cake pans and craft kits for check-out as well.  Finally, the Edge Teen Room is an area of the library specifically for teens that offers a variety of games and space to relax, do activities and chat.

Cadette, Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts are encouraged to attend the library’s annual “Day of the Girl” event (October 10, 2015 from 9:00a.m. to 2:00p.m.) The theme for 2015 is “Dreams” and focuses on girl empowerment activities including female inspirational speakers, fitness activities and the chance to make a time capsule!  This is a great event for girls because the programs are designed to be hands-on and engaging.Day of the Girl 2014 (Library Provided)

“It was neat to see over the course of the hands-on workshop those girls went from being tentative about it to being all in!” Moreland said.

Daisy and Brownie Girl Scouts can take advantage of the library’s “Factual Fun” events every 3rd Thursday of the month.  These events are scavenger hunts through the non-fiction part of the library that help children learn to look up facts to achieve a goal.  One “Factual Fun” we thought sounded like a blast was a bigfoot hunt, complete with a costumed “bigfoot” volunteer!  The emphasis on non-fiction literature opens unique opportunities for learning. The October event will focus on volcanos and Brownies can even complete a badge requirement for the Home Scientist Badge!

Factual Fun - Bigfoot (Library Provided)

As a Girl Scout alumna and lifetime member and the mom of a Brownie Girl Scout, Moreland can spot a great program opportunity for girls when she sees one!  That’s why she thinks the library is a perfect partner for helping Girl Scout troops excel.

“A library’s goals are similar to the goals of Girl Scouts – we’re all about empowering people to achieve their dreams, to learn about things they’re interested in and have access to information that’s going to make their lives better.

The Topeka & Shawnee County Library is such a perfect fit to the Girl Scout program that much of the planning burden can be eliminated for the troop leader, and we love that!

We’re so excited to have the Topeka & Shawnee County Library as a new Community Partner!  With so many great programs and 11 full-time youth staff members constantly working on new programming, every girl will find something that piques her interest.  See everything offered and keep checking back on the library’s community partner page.

To find out more about our more than 150 community partners, check out the Community Partners pages on our website.

If your troop has enjoyed an activity at the Topeka & Shawnee County Library, share your comment with us by posting below!

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