About Us

rtklogocolor3We are Robot Test Kitchen, a group of Youth Services and Teen librarians. We believe that when imaginations play, learning happens. We aim to use simple robotics as a means to expand our learning experience for other new technologies. Our goal is to provide an entry point of simple robotics in a way Youth and Teen Librarians can understand.  This project began with funding from ILEAD-USA, 2014.  ILEAD-USA is a grant funded by IMLS and run by the Illinois State Library.

Follow the Robot Test Kitchen @RobotTestKitchn

Contact Us

Heather Booth

I came to librarianship because I got to read books and talk to teens about them. Such a dream job that I even wrote a book about doing just that. But in the fourteen years since I started on this path, the landscape has changed, so have the possibilities, and so have I. I’m craving a new challenge, and I’m realizing that I feel most engaged and energized while helping other librarians be effective and feel confident in their jobs. Having fun with technology is not something I am accustomed to, or feel like I’m good at, but I am embracing the opportunity because of the potential to use these tools to connect with my patrons, and connect my patrons with the Library. Follow me @boothheather

Kim Calkins


I have been a librarian for 8 years. Currently I am the Middle School Services Librarian at the Elmhurst Public Library. I have been successful with many of my programs, but the robotics trend has me sweating. Not necessarily interested in robotics, I have stuck my toe in the water of programming and have frequently felt nervous about what I do not know. I want to participate in the Robot Test Kitchen to enhance my knowledge and understanding of robotics in libraries, and also express my trepidation in this new landscape so others who are not robotically-inclined feel less alone. If you’re scared of robotics like I am, fear not, we’re in this together. Follow me @kscott58

Jacqueline Christen

Profile PicI’ve been working in libraries for almost ten years, and I’m currently the Grade School Program Coordinator at the Glenside Public Library. I was drawn to librarianship because I love to read, but along the way I’ve found that I have a passion for programming. I love helping my patrons learn and explore while discovering new interests and aptitudes. In planning STEM programs I’ve actually learned a lot about the world and discovered new ways of thinking. Exploring robotics in libraries has already been so much fun, and while there is a lot to learn, I can’t wait to jump in and share what I learn along the way. Follow me @InfoJacquie

Sharon Hrycewicz

In high school, I completed my science courses as quickly as possible, taking the sh at 50absolute minimum to graduate.  I’m a humanities girl; my kind of sciences are the social sciences.  But I’ve always been drawn to new things.   I enjoy finding the next new thing; I like to explore and try and figure things out.   I’m not always successful doing it my way and that  is why I’m so pleased to be working on this project.  As children’s librarians, we are not alone.  We have each other.  I’ve been blessed to work at the Downers Grove Public Library since 1997. Follow me @ReadingChick

Michelle Kilty

Michelle Kilty

I have been working in libraries for eight years. I recently started as Children’s Services Coordinator for the Aurora Public Library, previously, I worked at Helen Plum Library in Lombard, IL. I am passionate about helping kids of all ages discover new concepts and ideas. Exploring and experimenting with technology is one of my favorite things – I like to dig in and tinker. Bringing more STEAM and robotics based programs to libraries excites me and I am eager to help others learn how to break it down. Follow me @makeylibrarian

6 thoughts on “About Us

  1. I’m looking forward to more of your posts very much! I’m a teen librarian in MA and very interesting bringing these concepts to my teens! I have little expertise so I can’t wait to see what you come up with! (Also, hurray for Chicago suburbs librarians! My mother lives in Lombard and my aunt in Elmhurst. I have a Plum library card kicking around somewhere….)

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