The Curiosity Cruiser is back with Afterschool Programming! 

The Curiosity Cruiser is back with Afterschool Programming! 

Spring break may be over, but that does not mean the fun is done. The Curiosity Cruiser has exciting news. For the remainder of the Spring Semester the Cruiser is working with local community centers to offer afterschool STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and Literacy based programs! 

Here is a sneak peak of what you can expect. 

Snap Circuits!

What are these? They are kits that introduce children to the concepts of electrical circuits. Students will learn how to make all sorts of distinct functions, such as alarms, lights, and fans, with these easy snap into place pieces.  

Robots!

We have lots of different robots such as: Ozobots, which are small orb shaped robots that follow commands you make on paper, and Lego WeDo that uses Legos and an iPad to function! 

Comic Creation! 

Calling all Dogman Fans, learn the foundation behind what it takes to make a comic book, a comic book! 

D-I-Y Flipbooks

 What story will your flipbook tell us? Is it going to be an adventure, a romance, or even just a stick man dancing? Learn how art has a big role in literacy.  


Here is a list of our locations. 

March 21, 2022 – May 20, 2022: 

Mondays: Afterschool Programing

East Harris County Activity Center 
7340 Spencer Hwy, Pasadena, TX 77505  
4:00pm – 5:30pm 


Tuesdays: Morning Bilingual Story Time and Pop-up Library 

Spring Branch Family Development Center 
8575 Pitner Rd, Houston, TX 77080  
11:00am – 1:30pm 
*Story Time Begin at 11am* 


Wednesdays: Afterschool Programming 

Finnigan Park Community Center  
4900 Providence St, Houston, TX 77020  
4:30pm – 5:30pm  

Lincoln Community Center  
979 Grenshaw St, Houston, TX 77088  
4:30pm – 5:30pm 


Thursdays: Afterschool Programming 

Riley Chambers Community Center  
808 1/2 Magnolia Ave, Crosby, TX 77532  
4:00pm – 5:30pm 

JD Walker Community Center  
7613 Wade Road Baytown, TX 77521  
4:30pm – 5:30pm 

*Cruiser stops are weather permitting. The cruiser also follows the same holiday schedule as other library branches. Please check our social media each day for any notice of cancellation. * 

Contact your community center for more information on how to enroll. I did mention it was all FREE, right? Each participant will also pick out a book at the end of the program. What could be better?! 

We hope to see you there! 


Check out http://www.hcpl.net/blog for more Harris County Public Library related blogs!

 For more cruiser information you can visit:

https://www.hcpl.net/about/community/curiosity-cruiser

Social Media:

Facebook: @CuriosityCruiser

Instagram: @curiositycruiser

Twitter: @CuriosityCruis1

Who are the Curiosity Cruiser Superheroes?

Well that would be Owlbotron and Northtale! The Super hero duo whose mission is to spread the power of reading and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) to kids all over the county.

Well let me tell you their origin story. You see I’m good friends with them, so I have the inside scoop.

To learn who Owlbotron is, we must first meet Oliver Owens. Oliver, who went by Ollie, was your average middle school student. He struggled with his math and science classes and faced bullying from some of the kids in his school. Even though he is an owl, he didn’t know how to fly, and longed to join other birds in the skies. He was a sweet kid with many hobbies, such as art and writing, but this wasn’t enough for poor Ollie.

One day, while in the school Library, Ms. Mapp the Librarian, guided Ollie towards a very specific book. Inside this book was a wonderful secret. It was the key to Ollie becoming an epic superhero! After reading the book, Ollie became Owlbotron the Super Owl. He gained the ability to fly and help light the way for other children.

So, who is Northtale?

First let me ask, are you curious how Ms. Mapp knew that Ollie needed that book? Was it just her Librarian senses tingling, or could it be something more? Ms. Mapp is just your standard school librarian, helping spread the joy or reading and assisting in research projects, right?

Well, what if I were to tell you another secret? Ms. Mapp is Northtale! Totally didn’t see that coming, did you? Oh, you did? Huh, well then maybe you have super powers yourself!

To be honest, we don’t know how Ms. Mapp became Northtale. Maybe she has always been, maybe she earned the power through a book like Owlbotron, all we know is that she is a Super Fox! She has the power of navigation and the knowledge to build awesome gadgets. She’s really good at problem solving and loves to help children on their adventures.  

Together this duo strives to help inspire the wonderful children of Harris county through the use of literacy and STEM.

Always remember:

You can change the world.

For more back story fun, check out this video on Owlbotron’s origin story!

Check out http://www.hcpl.net/blog for more Harris County Public Library related blogs!

 For more cruiser information you can visit:

https://www.hcpl.net/about/community/curiosity-cruiser

Social Media:

Facebook: @CuriosityCruiser

Instagram: @curiositycruiser

Twitter: @CuriosityCruis1

Back to School with the Curiosity Cruiser!

Back to School with the Curiosity Cruiser!

We are jumping back into the new year with school visits! This past Wednesday, February 9, the Curiosity Cruiser team visited Cimarron Elementary in Katy, Texas to give away books to the students there. In total we gave away 126 books to both Pre-K and Kindergarten grade children.

Visiting a school is a special event, where each child may come aboard our Curiosity Cruiser vehicle and explore the many titles we have to giveaway. This Super Library on Wheels is a state-of-the-art mobile library that seeks to inspire children all over Houston to develop a love of reading and gain access to great books and opportunities- leading to lifelong learning and the ability to reach their fullest potential.  

On Wednesday, each child came aboard and picked out one book. Children can pick whichever book catches their eye or, if they need help picking, our cruiser team will suggest a few titles that may be of interest to them.

We have many popular titles right now, our most popular being the “How to Code…” series by Josh Funk and “If I Built  A…” by Chris Van Dusen.

We also have many great titles including popular character books like Pete the Cat and Peppa Pig! A few children grabbed classics like   “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendakor, a personal favorite, “The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!” by Jon Scieszka.  


They are welcome to flip through each book and pick the one they would like to have the most, getting to visit each school and see every child’s individual interest has been a joy!  

Would you like us to come to your next school event? Please visit the Curiosity Cruiser website at www.curiositycruiser.com or email us at curiositycruiser@hcpl.net to find out more about the Curiosity Cruiser, its support, and its efforts.  


Check out http://www.hcpl.net/blog for more Harris County Public Library related blogs!

 For more cruiser information you can visit:

https://www.hcpl.net/about/community/curiosity-cruiser

Social Media:

Facebook: @CuriosityCruiser

Instagram: @curiositycruiser

Twitter: @CuriosityCruis1

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: 

Monday:  

East Harris County Activity Center

4:30 PM – 5:30 PM 

7340 Spencer Hwy, Pasadena, TX 77505

Riley Chambers Community Center 

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM 

808 1/2 Magnolia Ave, Crosby, TX 77532 

Tuesday: 

Spring Branch Family Development Center 

11: 00 AM – 1:30 PM 

Break 

3:30 PM – 5:00 PM 

8575 Pitner Rd, Houston, TX 77080 

Thursday: 

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. * 

Check out http://www.hcpl.net/blog  for more Harris County Public Library related blogs!

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Curiosity Cruiser is a state-of-the-art mobile library that provides Houston children with access to books and exciting educational programs that integrate reading with science, math, technology, writing, and the arts.

Harris County Public Library
713-274-6600
CuriosityCruiser@HCPL.net
HCPL.Net

The Harris County Public Library system provides a broad range of traditional and online library services through 26 branch libraries in Harris County, Texas.