Library Kicks Off Lego Robotics Club, Expands Documentary Screenings


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Last month, the Verona Public Library, with funding from the Verona Public Library Foundation (VPLF), kicked off its new Lego Robotics Club. The club has two separate sessions on Thursday nights and Sunday afternoons. Each session is filled to capacity with 18 students who are led by Verona volunteers. The kids are in grades 1 to 3, and will learn how to build robots and write code using the tablets and Lego kits provided by the Foundation. The dream for the new club is to one day field teams in Lego Robotics competitions.

“It has been a dream for some time to bring to Verona the hands-on STEM learning that this program offers,” said Library Director Claudine Pascale. “I’m thrilled to see the girls and boys having such a good time and I’m so thankful to the Verona Library Foundation for financing this as their first project for our town library.”

The Verona Public Library strives to offer free programs for residents of all ages and the Board of Trustees created the VPLF to raise annual funds, in conjunction with the Friends of the Library, to pay for programs and resources. In addition, the VPLF is planning a long-term financial strategy that builds a Library endowment which guarantees programming for future generations of Verona residents.

In addition to the Lego Robotics program, the VPLF is funding a screening series of documentaries aimed at an adult audience. It will feature the Academy-Award winning film “Born into Brothels” about children born to prostitutes in Calcutta’s red-light district; “Salt in My Soul” based on a young woman’s secret diary documenting her life-affirming struggle with chronic, invisible illness; and “Maya Angelou-Reflections of a Blessed Soul” about the acclaimed African American author. The films will screen at the library on Sunday afternoons in late May/early June and will be followed by an in-person Q and A with each film’s director.

“We are so grateful for the generosity of Verona residents at last year’s annual gala,” said Gale Berninghausen, president of the Verona Public Library Foundation. “It is allowing us to provide free programming for our town while planning for a sustainable future for our truly unique public library.”

The VPLF is funding the technology and sponsoring a Capstone student this spring to begin the daunting task of digitizing the physical archive housed in the library basement. It documents the history of the town from its inception, and the clubs, schools, houses of worship, and residents who have helped shape it. The digital archive will be made available to the public later this year.

The VPLF hosted its first annual gala last October in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Library’s construction. Local businesses Solutions Architecture, Prout Funeral Home, and Fasulo Giordano & DiMaggio law firm and local organizations The Junior Women’s Club, The Woman’s Club, Verona Lions Club and Verona Unico provided sponsorship of the gala. Their sponsorship helped VPLF raise the funds needed for the Lego Robotics Club, the upcoming film series and digitizing the local history archive.

In 2023, the Library provided 107,573 books in circulation and 23,367 digital resources were borrowed. The Library welcomed over 11,800 participants in its 614 programs. VPLF plans to host another Gala this fall to raise more funds for the Library. To find out more about the Verona Public Library Foundation you can visit its website at or find it on social media.

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