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12 Things SWKLS: Thing 9


Welcome to the ninth thing in 12 Things SWKLS. This month we will be learning about Floating Collections from the Kansas State Library. Floating Collections allow your patrons to experience different media and your library to access new media for programming.

All of the resources for this lesson can be found at the State Library website under Librarians, Interlibrary Loan, Floating Collections

The activities for this lesson are due by January 31, 2017 at 11:59 pm CDT and are worth 2 credit hours. Estimated work time: 1.5-2 hours.

If you would rather complete an alternate topic, please go to the alternate topic page and pick one from the list.


The Floating Collections from the State Library contain materials that “float” from library to library. The items do not need to be returned and will remain in your library until another library requests the items.  The statewide floating collection consists of:

  • Playaways (preloaded audiobook player)
  • Playaway Views (preloaded video player for kids)
  • Playaway Bookpacks (easy read-along audiobooks for kids)
  • Floating StoryPacks (colorful backpacks with pre-school books and activities)
  • Playaway Launchpads (preloaded learning tablets for kids, teens, or adults)

Exercises:  (Due by January 31, 2017 at 11:59 pm CDT)

Tools you will need:

  • A computer or internet enabled device.
  • An Internet connection.

Activity 1:  (45 min)

  1. Read the Overview and What’s Available for each of the 5 Floating Collections at Kansas State Library website.
  2. Search for floating collections in VERSO or ShareIt. Do an Advanced Search and use All Libraries, Kansas Main Catalog, and Interlibrary Loan/KS Cataloging.  
  3. Search under All Headings for terms “floating Playaway”, “floating Playaway view”, “floating Playaway launchpad”, “floating Playaway bookpack”, or “storypack”. Add keywords to narrow the search.
  4. Select 2 items to borrow from any of the 5 Floating Collections from the What’s Available list or by searching in VERSO or ShareIt.

Please note that the What’s Available list for Launchpads does not include teen or adult titles. These titles can be found here.

Activity 2:  (45 min)

  1. Read Playaway Best Practices under the Floating Collections on the State Library website. The practices refer to Playaways but can also be used for the Playaway Views, BookPacks, StoryPacks, and Launchpads.
  2. Create an ILL request for your 2 items. If you are not the person who requests ILLs at your library, ask the ILL person to create the request for you.
  3. The Best Practices tell how to request and what to do with the floating collection once it arrives. Please note that the last step in ordering a floating playaway, is to go to the request when it’s in Awaiting Approval and delete all of the locations that don’t have the Floating call number (contact Patti if you need help with this).
  4. Do not send the floating collections back to the sender or to another library unless you get an ILL request. Once you receive a floating collection it stays at your library until someone else requests it. Defective materials should be sent to the State Library after filling out a Defective or Lost Playaway form. Defective items, items lost in transit, or launchpads will be replaced by the State Library.
  5. If you no longer want to have a floating collection in your library, have your ILL person send a message to the KANILL list or KANLIB-L list with generic info about what you have. When libraries respond, send details including your library code and FPC# of the item you have. Let the list know when your items are taken.
  6. Show at least one patron one of the floating collections that you borrowed.
  7. Post a comment below with the following:
    1. Your name
    2. What you borrowed (title and media type)
    3. How you used the items you borrowed
    4. How you could use a floating collection in your library in the future
    5. Reply to someone else’s comment
  8. Fill out this form for verification.


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  1. 1.Ruby Martin
    2. Floating Storypack- Winter
    Floating Playaway view-“How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight”
    3. Both of these can and will be used at Storytime.
    4. We have used the playaways to give exposure to a different way of listening to books. Playaway launchpads are used when we have computers in use and it gives the kids another option of playing games.

      • swkls on January 12, 2017 at 8:11 am

      Ruby, do you have a favorite launchpad that you have used in your library?

      1. Not really. We have two here right now and I have pulled them out for the kids to use when the computers are full. The games are just not as exciting as Roblox. What can I say. I have them charged and ready as today school gets out at 1:45.The two that we have are “It’s your Move” and “Match, Set, Pair.”I am excited to get the Playaway View in and see how the kids like them. Could be another option on a busy day.

        • Millie Dearden on January 23, 2017 at 3:56 pm

        We have several launchpads in our library and they are great as long as they are charged..We seem to have issues with them staying charged.

          • swkls on January 23, 2017 at 4:14 pm


          Playaway says on their website that a Launchpad should play for 4.5 hours on a charge. It should take about 4 hours to fully charge from the wall charger and 6 hours from a USB charger. If you are charging them fully and they don’t play very long, let’s talk to Findaway about it. Just give me a call.


      • Laurie Dinges on January 19, 2017 at 12:05 pm


      I agree it does give children a different way of listening to books. Our launchpads have helped older children while waiting for their parents who are busy with their younger siblings. And, they do enjoy the games as something different to find at the library.

    • Laurie Dinges on January 19, 2017 at 11:58 am

    1.) Laurie Dinges

    2.)I did Playaway Views – titles “Something Old, Something New” and “Liberty’s Kids”

    3.) Having just requested them I plan to introduce them to some of our home schoolers. I believe they could be a good test ground.

    4.) Kids can use these while they are waiting for their parents who are using our computers. We may be able to incoporate them into a story time session, as well.

      • swkls on January 19, 2017 at 1:08 pm


      What a wonderful idea for the Playaway Views. I think all of our libraries could benefit from doing this.

      • Stephanie Berning on January 19, 2017 at 1:38 pm

      I like your idea of introducing the Playaway Views to your home schooling families. I think that’s a great education tool!

      • swkls on January 20, 2017 at 9:40 am


      What wonderful ideas to try.

      • Millie Dearden on January 23, 2017 at 3:58 pm

      Great idea, Laurie for Homeschool resources!!!

      • Amy Brucker on January 30, 2017 at 11:48 pm

      Love that you mention introducing these resources to our home schoolers!

      • Ellen Selzer on January 31, 2017 at 5:28 pm

      Good Ideas Especially to use with home schoolers.
      Ellen selzer

    • Stephanie Berning on January 19, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    1.Stephanie Berning
    2.I borrowed the Animal Kingdom Playaway View and the Dance and Movement Storypack Kit
    3.So far I have used the Dance and Movement Storypack Kit at Story Time for the past two weeks. Last week I read three of the books included and did some games with the scarves that went along with the books. I have been played with and been displaying the Animal Kingdom Playaway View. I plan to introduce it to children as they come into the library.
    4.I plan to continue to use the floating collection to change up Story Time.

      • swkls on January 20, 2017 at 9:42 am


      I have not seen one of the Storypack Kits. They sound like a good storytime resource.

        • Millie Dearden on January 23, 2017 at 3:57 pm

        You need to check them out, Charlene! They are a very good resource!!!

          • swkls on January 23, 2017 at 4:05 pm

          Millie, you are right, these seem like a really good resource. Thanks for having your daughter-in-law check them out too.

      • Audrey Flowers on January 26, 2017 at 11:03 am

      I also think the story packs would be a nice change to storytime. Books and action all in one place. And someone else went to all the work to gather everything!

      1. Audrey,
        I agree! They are a great all in one! I so appreciate those who have put together all the kits we can check out!

      • Dallie Vernon on January 30, 2017 at 11:39 am

      The Dance and Movement Storypack sounds fun! That’s one I will have to request in the future!

    • Millie Dearden on January 23, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    1. Millie Dearden
    2. I borrowed two Storypacks and one playaway view.
    3-4. The Storypacks have lots of cool stuff in them to expand on the books in the pack. One of the ones that I borrowed was Families…I wanted to see what all came in it so that we could use it in May when we hatch out chicks. It will be great!! The playaway view will be fun to use with littles in the library.
    I shared the storypack with my daughter-in-law (was a 3rd grade teacher but is staying home with our twins and is doing preschool with them), she really liked both packs and thought they could be used in a lot of different ways. If you are needing a “storytime” the packs will work great!!!

    • Audrey Flowers on January 26, 2017 at 10:59 am

    1. Audrey Flowers
    2. I borrowed the ‘Farm Animals’ storypack and the ‘Brain Juice’ launchpad.
    3. We plan to use the storypack for storytime sessions and I want to introduce the launchpad to some teens and see what they think. It could even be good for adults who want to keep their brains active and use an electronic devise.

      • swkls on January 26, 2017 at 11:12 am


      I look forward to hearing what your teens think of the Launchpad. I can see an adult who doesn’t have a mobile device liking it but wasn’t sure how tech savvy teens would respond.

        • Amy Brucker on January 30, 2017 at 11:47 pm

        Audrey, I’d love to hear about your teens’ reactions to the Launchpad too!

  2. 1. Stephanie Fisher
    2. We borrowed the Babies StoryPack.
    3. I love the Activity Notebook that came with this pack! I used the songs and fingerplays in Lapsit/Storytime.
    4. I have borrowed several LaunchPads that are popular with our kids, but I had never tried the StoryPacks. I would use these again in our children’s programming!

      • swkls on January 26, 2017 at 4:50 pm


      You did just what this lesson was designed to do – try out something new. Glad you had a good experience with it.


        • Amy Brucker on January 30, 2017 at 11:46 pm

        I think the StoryPacks might be “the find” of this lesson! Dallie is excited to use them in her programming.

    • Dallie Vernon on January 30, 2017 at 11:37 am

    1. Dallie Vernon
    2. I borrowed 2 floating story packs- Monsters and Farm Animals
    3. I plan on using them when I go read at the local daycare’s and use them during our story hour.
    4. The preschool or daycares could check them out.

      • swkls on January 31, 2017 at 8:23 am

      Dallie, great idea to use for daycare’s. It is nice to have new ideas show up on the courier and not have to plan so much at times.

    • Ginger Gibson on January 30, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    1. Ginger Gibson
    2. I borrowed two Playaways, Ingles and Spanish; three Playaway Launchpads, Crossword Workout & The Unwinder casueal games (both adult) & Need for Speed (teen); one Playaway View, Beauty and the Beast and Other Great Stories; and two Floating Storypacks, Winter & Babies.
    3. We’ve used Launchpads & Playaway ebooks before, but not the other things. I didn’t know they had adult Launchpads, so we’re trying a couple of those. We got our first Playaway View but haven’t used it yet. It seems a little small.
    4. We got two Storypacks. They could be especially useful if we lose our Learn & Play funding. We also thought of local daycare who might like them.

      • Amy Brucker on January 30, 2017 at 11:45 pm

      Ginger, I am interested in finding out how the adults take to the Launchpads. We purchased a number of them with a grant for our children, but haven’t looked to hard for the teens and adults.

      • swkls on January 31, 2017 at 8:22 am

      Ginger, wow! You went all out. It looks like this class really caught your interest. Let me know how the crossword one is.
      I think the Views are small for small hands and to be easily portable. Probably price enters in there too.

      • Caleb Platt on January 31, 2017 at 2:36 pm

      I would also be interested in how the adults use the launchpads or if they are not interested at all. I fear the latter would be the most likely.

    • Amy Brucker on January 30, 2017 at 11:43 pm

    1. Amy Brucker

    2. I borrowed “Thirteen Reasons Why” on Playaway Audiobook and “Beauty and the Beast and Other Fairy Tales” Playaway View

    3. The Playaway view has yet to arrive “pending” but I had planned to learn more about it, as I have never seen one, and then promote its use to patrons. The Playawy Audiobooks are used by our adult patrons, but I ordered a young adult title to show my Library Leadership Group and see their interest in having more available for our teen readers.

    4. In general, learning what is available in the floating collection (beyond the Playaway audiobooks) is useful. We can now promote the other collections to targeted groups, such as daycare providers, teens, and some of our parents who we are finding are reluctant to read to their children (insert gasp). I have already received feedback from Dallie that she would like to use the storypacks more when she does some of her programming.

      • swkls on January 31, 2017 at 8:03 am


      What wonderful ideas. I think so many of the people around the state that got these resources just sat on them and not too many got borrowed. I think maybe southwest will just “tip the state resources” in our direction for a while.


    • Caleb Platt on January 31, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    1.Caleb Platt
    2. P. Audiobook – Panic by Jeff Abbott and cop town by Karin Slaughter (I accidentally messed up when I requested cop town. I ended up with a normal Ill loan.)
    3. I was looking for books that fit along with what is popular with our readers right now.
    4. I think the floating audiobooks are a great way we could supplement our audiobook collection. Also, they are an alternative to buying the cd version of the audiobook. We should really offer them to people who like audiobooks but who would also like the convenience of taking it with them. They would also be a good resource for adults who are weak readers but still would enjoy listening to stories. OR a good way to help weak readers learn how to read better! in a way read-a-long for adults. or would that be too demeaning?

      • swkls on January 31, 2017 at 2:37 pm

      Caleb, you are not the only one to order a regular ILL. It happens. I am a big audiobook listener. I was always a slow reader in school and really didn’t read a lot for pleasure. Now I am hooked on the awesome readers on the audiobooks that I prefer to listen most of the time. It really takes me away from the troubles of the world. Charlene

    • Ellen Selzer on January 31, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    Ellen Selzer
    I borrowed a launchpad Art Rocks and a a playaway The Vow. We have some launchpads for children but they haven’t been popular. I would like to use the launchpad with children in the future.

      • swkls on January 31, 2017 at 5:34 pm

      Ellen, maybe having a different Launchpad will help. Also I liked the idea of letting children use them while the parent is on a computer.

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