Meet Our Staff Innovation Grant Winners Changing the Face of Solano County Library



We invited our amazing staff to propose new ways to inspire creativity, spark curiosity and champion learning in our communities, and they stepped up to the challenge! The winners will each receive a $1000 grant to make their vision a reality. Many of the other ingenious proposals, such as 3-D printing and glass blowing instruction, will be implemented as part of our regular operations.








Board Games to Borrow


Innovator: Mike Perkins


What are you doing? Creating a collection of modern board games. Games can be checked out and even placed on hold. We will focus initially on games that are easy to learn and appropriate for a variety of ages.


Why are you doing it? The experience of playing hobby games is drastically different from more traditional board games. These are cooperative games that require players to work together to achieve victory; deduction games that ask players to investigate, observe, or bluff to succeed; thematic, narrative-heavy games that tell a story; and abstract games that challenge players to convey complex ideas
or phrases using only simple icons or strange
illustrations. On top of this, for the generation of gamers that grew up on video games in the 1980s and ‘90s, hobby games fill a role that modern video games and online multiplayer have left behind: they bring your
friends and family together, in the same room, to hang
out and play.






Raspberry Pi Computers and Programming


Innovator: Charles Hargrove


What are you doing? Setting up a simple, relatively portable computer lab using Raspberry Pi 3 computers and Scratch to teach some basic coding skills for children.


Why are you doing it? Having this lab will help expand the time and opportunities local students have to learn about computers. Beyond providing for library activities, I imagine several potential benefits. 1) Getting children excited about their abilities to control the technology that they use every day, instilling a Maker mindset. 2) Teaching them basic coding. 3) Building stronger connections with local schools and technology clubs. 4) Improving the technical skills of library staff to better serve future users.






Sensory Garden


Innovators: Serena Enger and Teresa Lavell


What are you doing? Designing and installing a sensory garden in the cultivated area between the children's section of the branch and the Civic Center pond. The new garden would include a seating area for outdoor storytimes along with a wide range of plants to engage the senses.


Why are you doing it? Library users and their families will have the opportunity to feel revitalized in a peaceful, whimsical, and beautiful garden and have the opportunity to read and spend time together in a safe,  garden area. The sensory garden would offer a restorative and healing space that promotes community wellness in a downtown neighborhood that has a high poverty rate among families. The garden could also serve as a calm, multisensory space for children and adults with special needs. Textures, colors, and fragrances along with story times can provide a stable, peaceful, and stimulating environment for all ages and abilities.





S.T.E.A.M Kits


Innovator: Andrea Klecki


What are you doing? Providing tweens and teens in Solano County an opportunity to work with easy-to-use robotics kits to develop S.T.E.A.M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics)-related knowledge and skills.


Why are you doing it? The program will help to give
teens in the community a chance to satisfy their
scientific and creative curiosities by working with
equipment that requires no special skills or knowledge
to use. This is especially vital for teens that don’t have
opportunities to explore their S.T.E.A.M interests in school or in their own spare time due to lack of accessible community resources.

The goal of the program is to provide an opportunity for
teens to use the kits to understand core S.T.E.A.M
concepts related to electronics, and to be able to
experiment with them to create their own projects. They
can learn new things and build on what S.T.E.A.M
knowledge they already have.





VTS Cruiser


Innovator: Delilah Wilson


What are you doing? Creating a mobile cart that will make its presence at events and festivals, and also various library programs. The “VTS Cruiser,” would consist of marketing tools to allow for library staff
to educate current and potential customers of services
and programs. The “cruiser” would also be an
interactive hands-on tool during children’s programs and local events.


Why are you doing it? While preparing for an outreach event, I quickly realized, as I strategically gathered up pamphlets, flyers, promotional items, tablecloth, chairs, and a table, there must be an easier and more efficient way to take the library out into the community. Like a lightbulb, the idea to create a mobile outreach cart came to mind. The name, the “Vacaville Town Square Cruiser,” or for short, “VTS Cruiser,” was born. It will bring the library to the community, by offering current and potential customers a chance to interact with staff outside of the library.




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