News Roundup: Public Libraries and Makerspaces (Reports From MA, PA, TX, CO)
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.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.