Roundup: New Makerspaces, Media Labs, and Innovation Hubs Open (or Coming Soon) Inside Three Canadian Public Libraries
This post includes stories about new facilities in Edmonton, Hamilton, and Toronto.
A new makerspace inside the Edmonton Public Library formally opened yesterday.
1. “Edmonton Public Library’s new Makerspace makes geek chic” (via Edmonton Journal)
Much to the delight of the schoolchildren in the front row, a robot zigzagged across the floor of the Stanley A. Milner Library on Wednesday to deliver a pair of scissors for Mayor Don Iveson to clip a neon-green ribbon and open one of the first makerspaces in Canada.
“In a startup-friendly city like Edmonton, full of talented minds with bright ideas, it only makes sense to continue to break down barriers and expand on what we share when it comes to our resources and our services,” said Linda Cook, CEO of the Edmonton Public Library.
For the literary-minded, there is the Espresso Book Machine, which can print out softcover books in 10 minutes. It even printed out its own instruction manual, said Peter Schoenburg, manager of digital literacy initiatives and web services.
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2. Hamilton, Ontario: “Library building digital media labs” (via The Hamilton Spectator)
Hamilton Public Library is opening two digital media labs in the spring as it expands the public computer stations and training it has offered for years.
The labs are being built at the Terryberry and Red Hill branches.
“We’re also going to have a mobile (unit) so we can offer programming at other locations,” said chief librarian Paul Takala.
While the Digital Innovation Hub provides access to new technologies like 3D printers and scanners, Raspberry Pi computers, Arduino kits, high definition video cameras and audio mixers, it is also intended to be a collaborative space where people can connect and learn from each other. There will be meet-ups, speaker events, and free classes on everything from 3D design to computer programming.
“The opening of our first Digital Innovation Hub is an important step to broadening access to emerging technologies. To succeed in today’s digital world, Torontonians need the opportunity to use emerging technologies in spaces that encourage collaboration and creativity,” said Jane Pyper, City Librarian. “We’re looking forward to welcoming many people to Toronto Reference Library’s digital innovation hub, and to hubs opening later this year at Fort York and Scarborough Civic Centre branches.
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. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.