Meet the Curiosity Cruiser
Happy New Year! Some of you may know who we are but for those of you who don’t, we are the Curiosity Cruiser and want to take this chance to introduce ourselves to everyone.
This blog is designed to keep you up to date regarding the cruisers where-a-bouts, activities, and much more.
Without further ado, lets us tell you about who we are.
What is the Curiosity cruiser?
The Curiosity Cruiser is a program led by Harris County Public Library in partnership with the Barbra Bush Houston Literacy Foundation. Our goal is to provide children, who might not otherwise have access, with free literary materials and programming.
What kind of Books do you have, and are they free?
The Curiosity Cruiser mostly focuses on ensuring that every kid that stops by gets a free book to take home and keep. Yes, you heard me right, FREE. We do take books available for check-out from the library system with us to some sites, but we make sure they are carefully marked, and patrons are aware they differ from their free book.
We carry a wide variety of books. Our selection has something for everyone in a range from age 0 to 18 years. There are picture books, early readers, beginning and middle chapter, and young adult novels. We even have a good selection of graphic novels!
What kind of programming and events do you do?
We do all sorts of programming. Our focus right now is providing the communities we visit with pop-up libraries. For this type of program, we set up in community center parking lots or parks for a couple hours. Each child that stops by has the chance to pick out a free book and pick up a take home STEM activity kit.
When we are allowed to start doing hands-on programing again, we will work with different community centers and set up weekly “classes.” Here, children that sign up can pick out a book and take part in a either a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) or literacy-based lesson. These lessons include things like NaNoWriMo, skits, Lego robots, paper roller coaster construction, coding, and so much more.
Other event programming includes food drives, holiday parades, school visits, fairs, and anything else we are invited to attend.
Does my child have to be with me to get a book?
We understand that children have all kinds of after-school activities, and they might not always be with you. If you ever see us and stop by, just let us know how old your kiddo is and we will let you pick out a book for them. It doesn’t matter if you are mom, dad, grandma, aunt, or any other relation to the child, or even if it’s more than one child, if you have kids at home we will help find them a good book.
How many vehicles are in the fleet?
The fleet currently consists of 3 vehicles, but was just approved for a fourth! Our vehicles include a modified box delivery truck and 2 modified utility vans. Curiosity Cruiser 1 (CC1), the box delivery truck, is our biggest vehicle. You are most likely going to see this one at park events or school giveaways. Our other 2 cruisers, Curiosity Cruiser 2 (CC2) and Curiosity Cruiser 3 (CC3), are used for programing and park pop-ups. CC2 is a literacy-based programing vehicle, whereas CC3 is our STEM-based vehicle. This means more shelves for CC2 and extra counter space and tablet lockers for CC3.
Take a tour of the Curiosity Cruisers
How many books do you give away?
In 2021, we gave away 24,267 books and saw 23,561 children! We hope to give away even more this year.
Now that you’ve gotten the chance to learn about us, we hope to see you all at our future events and site visits!
For the current semester our weekly schedule is as follows:
Grayson Community Center
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
13828 Corpus Christi St, Houston, TX 77015
Riley Chambers Community Center
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
808 1/2 Magnolia Ave, Crosby, TX 77532
Spring Branch Family Development Center
11: 00 AM - 1:30 PM
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
8575 Pitner Rd, Houston, TX 77080
Finnigan Park Community Center
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
4900 Providence St, Houston, TX 77020
Lincoln Park Community Center
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
979 Grenshaw St, Houston, TX 77088
*Cruiser stops are weather permitting. The cruiser also follows the same holiday schedule as the other library branches. Please check our social media each day for any notice of cancelation. *