Library of Things Available at the WDM Library

As you start to think about heading back to school, we wanted to highlight some of the hidden gems that can be checked out at the library. These items are part of our Library of Things and range from technology items, children’s STEM kits, Meet Your Neighbors Story Boxes and even a car charging kit!

You might be asking yourself: what is a Library of Things? By definition, it’s a collection of objects loaned that vary widely but go beyond books, journals and media traditionally offered in a library. Our offerings continue to expand as we meet the needs of our growing community.


When the library made the decision to invest in STEM Kits, we first reached out to the West Des Moines Community School district to ensure the kits aligned with the curriculum. The STEM kits are fun for all ages, but we do list recommended ages for each kit in our catalog.

Some of our most highly checked-out kits include:

  • The Electricity Lab (ages 8+)
  • Beginner Chain Reaction (ages 4-7)
  • Heart (ages 8+)
  • Ramp Set (ages 18 months – 6 years)
  • Robots (ages 5 -10)

Patrons can check out the STEM kits like any other material in our collection. Kits can be checked out for 14 days and cannot be renewed. A $.50 charge will be added for each day that the kit is returned late.

Meet Your Neighbors Story Boxes

These Story Boxes were developed in partnership with West Des Moines Community Schools to highlight stories of different cultural groups that make up our WDM neighborhood. Each box includes fiction and nonfiction books, music and reading and listening guides to use in your home or in your classroom.

Story Boxes available for checkout include:

  • East Asia
  • Mexico and Central America
  • Middle East and South Asia
  • North and West Africa
  • South America and the Caribbean
  • South and East Africa
  • South Asia
  • United States of America

Story Boxes can be checked out for 14 days with no renewals. A $.50 charge will be added for each day that the kit is returned late.


Our Library of Things rounds itself out with technology available for checkout. The most popular item in this category during the COVID-19 pandemic has been our wireless hotspots. These hotspots have a bit more of paperwork required to be checked out due to the expense of the item and can only be checked out for 14 days. Full details on how you can check out a wireless hotspot can be found here.

Additionally, we have a limited number of iPads available for patron check out. If you’re interested in using an iPad or laptop while you’re in the building, come visit the second-floor reference desk for more information. We also have Children’s iPads available for checkout on the first floor to use while you’re in the building.


Explore our Library of Things by visiting  

You can also find it by navigating to Services > Spaces & Technology > Library of Things

Posted on July 19, 2021