MCLD's Guadalupe Branch Library

Maricopa County Library District, AZ

Contact: Maria Mucino, mariamucino@mcldaz.org

Description:

The Guadalupe Branch Library, part of the Maricopa County Library District (MCLD), is located in Guadalupe, Arizona (between Tempe and Phoenix). This library serves community members of all ages from children through seniors. The community of about 6,000 residents is home to a combination of Native American Pascua Yaqui Tribal members and Hispanics. The median household income in Guadalupe is $36,849, which is far below the median household income in Arizona. More than a third (36.2%) of Guadalupe residents live below the poverty line and another third (35.9%) of the population are residents younger than 18 years old. The only school in Guadalupe is Frank Elementary School, a Title I school. For the last three years Frank Elementary School has received a “C” on its report card, and its math and science scores have been declining since 2011; last year only 49% of the students passed the math part of the AIMS (Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards) test for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade.

The Guadalupe Branch Library’s goal is to help change this pattern by creating more opportunities for these young people to make, create and spark interest in science, technology, engineering, math, and the arts. The challenges in this community are great, but experiences and STEAM activities make these young people stronger, by inspiring and motivating them to continue in school. Summer and After School Maker programs at Guadalupe Branch Library help bridge the gap by creating opportunities for youth to make things in the real world.

Historically, libraries have been on the cutting edge, whether bridging the gap with the internet or creating spaces and developing programs to spark the DIY (do-it-yourself) spirit to all those people who come to the library. Thus, since August 2013, Guadalupe Branch Library began offering an after school program called “STEAM Up.”  Every other Wednesday school age kids have the opportunity to come to the library to create and learn while having fun. With this program, Guadalupe Branch Library became a collaborator of the Arizona Scitech Festival. One of our most recent programs was about propelled cars using LEGOS. Steam Up is open to all school-age children and their siblings. Every Steam Up session has an amazing theme, where children are encouraged to use all things STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) to build, design, learn, play, and most of all have FUN. This program is making a great impact in our community. Our hope is to grow the program allowing these young children to take whatever they make, which has not been the case as resources are scarce. We have an average of 18 participants attending this program. Our goal is to create a Mobile Maker space within the library. We hope to bring STEAM & Maker projects into Guadalupe, Arizona by creating an environment where young makers believe they can learn to do anything they want despite their circumstances.

Outcomes:

These are other highlights from our tiny library: