A look at four new library and makerspace stories from around the USA.
1. Watertown, MA: Library Floats “Makerspace” Concept (via Boston Globe)
Watertown officials are asking for public feedback on the proposed creation of a “Makerspace,” or a workshop intended for those who do activities with their hands like woodworking, sewing, and building computers.
2. Altoona, PA: Library building ‘creator space’ (via Altoona Mirror)
A new digital “creator space” was the goal when District library Consultant Linda Filkosky applied for grant money last October.
In June, she learned Altoona Area Public Library would be receiving $20,274 through the Library Services and Technology Act to build a state-of-the-art multimedia room on the library’s second floor.
“This creator space is a real upcoming topic for libraries,” she said. It had been in the back of her mind for some time to create “the great equalizer” – giving access to technology that most couldn’t otherwise afford.
Library officials envision an informal lab where students and adults could come in to program a video game or app, edit a music video, build a robot or even use a three-dimensional printer to mold a plastic prototype for a new invention.
The details have yet to be worked out, but the concept is being designed into the $716,000 renovation and expansion of the East Waco Library, which begins next year.
Libraries, long an early adopter of technology, are really a natural crossover for the maker ethos, said Jeff Branson, educational outreach coordinator for SparkFun.
A Lakewood resident, Branson teaches classes for SparkFun across the country, his pupils ranging from kindergartners to NASA. He was the one to put the idea to Belmar — his local library — to start a makerspace program and offered up his expertise to get it off the ground.