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Programming Kits & StoryWalk® Sets for Public Libraries

OLIS is pleased to announce the development of Programming Kits and StoryWalk® Sets for Rhode Island public libraries to borrow and use with their communities. The purpose of the kits is to support library staff with programming for youth and families. The kits will facilitate learning activities and early literacy skills using a variety of materials libraries may not be able to purchase or store on their own. Kit materials will also offer youth and families access to new tools and activities they may not otherwise experience. A focus on the kits is to provide communities with enhanced STEAM opportunities, such as robotics, audio/video production, and maker tools. StoryWalk® sets will not only relieve library staff of the time and expense of creating their own StoryWalk® but streamlines resource sharing among libraries to produce an efficient and effective model of service. This project is made possible with funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). 

About the Kits

A total of 19 programming kits have been created for three suggested age ranges: 0-5 years, 6-12 years, and 12-18 years. The 0-5 selection of kits align with the Rhode Island Early Learning & Development Standards and focus on early literacy, constructing, and simple machines. Kits for older children and teens align with the Rhode Island Department of Education Standards with an emphasis on the Next Generation Science Standards for ages 6-12 and the National Core Arts Standards for ages 12-18. These kits range from electronics, engineering and robotics to linoleum printing, resin craft, and 3D plastic pens. All of the programming kits include sample learning objectives, suggested activities, and additional resources for library staff. 

Rhody Critter kits are also now available exclusively to public library staff as part of the Youth Services Programming Kits project. The RIDEM Division of Fish and Wildlife offers free wildlife curriculum kits and learning resources for formal and informal K-5 educators through their Rhody Critter Kits Program. Each kit contains lesson plans, activities, videos, hands-on learning materials, and other resources curated DEM Wildlife Outreach staff, with special emphasis on Rhode Island's wildlife species, conservation work, and management practices. Available Critter Kits include Bat Chat, Feathered Friends, Keeping the Balance, Scales and Slime. Additional kits are planned for the future.


About the StoryWalk® Sets

The StoryWalk® sets include 40 diverse titles that will engage and entertain a wide range of readers. Stories were chosen that highlight nature and care for the environment, emphasize family and friendship, and promote love in the community. The sets also contain several books created by local authors and illustrators, such as Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie, Gaia Cornwall and Anika and Christopher Denise, as well as stories about notable Rhode Island figures or events, including Miles Davis performing at the Newport Folk Festival and Ida Lewis, lighthouse keeper and heroic lifesaver. StoryWalk® sets will be available Spring 2023.

Borrowing Kits

The Equipment Catalog for reserving kits can be found at

To reserve a kit:

  • Go to
  • To find a kit you may browse the catalog or click the "Category" dropdown at the top of the page to view kits in a specific category.
  • Click on the kit you want to reserve and go to the availability grid at the bottom of the page.
  • Select the date you would like to check out the kit by clicking either "Go To Date" or "Next Available." "Go to Date" will show a calendar view and "Next Available" will show you the soonest date the kit is available.
  • Click the "Add to Cart" button. You can change the loan period to a shorter period of time, but cannot change the loan period to exceed the maximum time period.
  • Once you are ready to reserve the kits in your "cart," click the cart button at the top right of the page. You'll be prompted to fill out your contact info before completing the reservation.

About borrowing kits:

  • Youth Services Programming Kits, Welcoming Library sets, and Critter Kits are only available to Rhode Island public library staff for facilitating programming for youth and families. Kits may not be circulated to the public and are not available to other library types or organizations. Welcoming Library books may be circulated to the public or only used in-house. Libraries choosing to circulate Welcoming Library books are responsible for ensuring the return of books before returning the set to OLIS.
  • Kits and Welcoming Library sets will be sent to libraries via LORI delivery.
  • Loan periods for Programming Kits are 3 weeks or 8 weeks depending on the type of kit. The Welcoming Library loan period is 3 months and the Critter Kit loan period is 2 weeks. A padding of 5 days is added to each checkout period to account for delivery time to and from a library.
  • Kits maybe reserved between 5 and 182 days in advance. The Welcoming Library may be reserved between 5 and 365 days in advance.
  • Only one kit per category per library building may be reserved per month.
  • Renewals are not permitted.
  • Kits and Welcoming Library sets must be inventoried upon receipt and before being returned. Missing or damaged materials must be reported to Danielle Margarida immediately.
  • Many kits contain consumables provided by OLIS. Please be mindful of the amount of consumables used to successfully facilitate a program. OLIS will make every effort to replenish consumables between each loan period.

Additional information about reserving, receiving, and returning kits:

  • OLIS will make every effort to get your reserved kit to you by the first date of your loan period. However, we do recommend that you do not schedule your program for the first few days of your loan period. This will give you a buffer should there be any delivery issues.
  • Kits will arrive in transit bins that will be secured with zip ties. You can cut off the zip ties when you receive the kit and use the included new zip ties to secure the bin when you send it back to OLIS.
  • When sending kits back to OLIS please use the included transit slip that is prefilled with the OLIS code "DSL." Tape the transit slip to the top of the bin and then send the kit out with the rest of your library's delivery.
  • Please make every effort to return the kit as close to the last day of your loan period as possible.
  • The zip ties, transit slips, and kit evaluations can all be found in the front pocket of the programming guide binders that are included in each kit. If the kit is missing transit slips or evaluations you may download them below.

For questions or issues about kit reservations please contact David Marrocco at

For questions or issues related to kit contents please contact Danielle Margarida at

Borrowing StoryWalk® Sets

StoryWalk® sets will be available Spring 2023 through the Equipment Catalog.