Frequently Asked Questions About Science Trunks

  1. Who may use Cornerstones Science Trunks? 
  2. Any library that is a member of the Maine Regional Library System may borrow a Cornerstones Science Trunk.

  3. What fields and topics do the Cornerstones Science Trunks highlight?
  4. Please check the Cornerstones of Science Trunk List for information about each Science Trunk.  Cornerstones is currently developing a STAR Program Science Trunk highlighting astronomy stargazing and space exploration, and a Brain Science Trunk that teaches families in a fun and interesting way about brain neurology and function.

  5. What are the typical contents of a Science Trunk?
  6. Each trunk’s contents are specific to the topic, but all trunks include hands-on activities, demonstration “tools” and toys, books to be used during the program and for further reading, and suggested guidelines on how to use the trunk’s contents. Many trunks also include hand-puppets and costumes for the librarians or kids to use.

  7. How may the Science Trunks be used?
  8. Cornerstones Science Trunks can be used at any non-commercial program in your library.  Cornerstones Science Trunks can be used outside of the public library location only if a librarian is using the Cornerstones Science Trunk as a visual identification and ambassador of how the library serves as a place to connect the public to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).  If the library would like to use Cornerstones Science Trunks in this manner please contact us at 207-208-8975 before the Science Trunk is used under those conditions.  The library will be fully responsible for the Cornerstones Science Trunk, and all of its contents, for the entire loan period.

  9. How long can a Library use a Cornerstones Science Trunk?
  10. Cornerstones Science Trunks are loaned out to a library for two weeks.  If the library would like to continue to use the Science Trunk beyond that initial deadline, we request that you contact us at 207-208-8975.  If approved, your library can extend the loan of the Science Trunk through the online reservation system.

  11. Can a public library not on the MSL library delivery van system borrow a Science Trunk?
  12. Yes.  First, the library will need to get approval from a library that is geographically close (less than 20 miles from each other), currently uses the MSL library delivery van system, and would be willing to serve as a pick-up/drop-off location for the Science Trunk.  Once those arrangements have been made, the library can reserve a trunk using the online reservation form.

  13. What are Regional Collaborative libraries?
  14. Regional Collaborative libraries are defined as two or more libraries -- one of which currently uses the MSL library delivery van system -- that are geographically located less than 20 miles from each other and interested in using the same Science Trunk.  In this case, the library that is on the MSL library delivery van system will be considered the “Borrowing Library”.  Since the “Borrowing Library” assumes full responsibility for the Science Trunk and all its contents, it will be important that this library review all the contents prior to shipping the Science Trunk back to Cornerstones.

  15. Can home-school, public or community organizations use the Science Trunk? 
  16. Many libraries have home-school groups, community organizers and/or educators that might be interested in using the Science Trunks.  Cornerstones wants as many people as possible to come to the library and be interested in using Science Trunks.  Except under specific circumstances (See FAQ #2) the Science Trunks can only be used within the library. If considered acceptable and appropriate, by the “Borrowing Library” contact person, other individuals (over the age of 18) from the home school community organizations can use the Science Trunks as part of their program or presentation within the Library.

  17. How do I reserve a Cornerstones Science Trunk?
  18. Once you have checked the availability of the Science Trunk you would like to reserve, you can reserve a trunk using the online reservation form

  19. My library would like to increase the number of science, technology, engineering and math programs and resources it makes available to my community.  How do I find more information about other Cornerstones programs?
  20. For more information on Cornerstones of Science, visit the Cornerstones of Science website or download the Cornerstones of Science brochure.