The Labs at DC Public Library are discussed (as well as two other lab spaces in the DC metro) in a new 1700 word article in Washington City Paper titled, “At the D.C. Public Library, You Can Laser Cut, 3-D Print, and Record Music for Free.”
From the Article
DCPL staffers visited the Cleveland Public Library’s TechCentral MakerSpace, which has a similar focus on A/V and creative tools, to inspire the MLK Library workshops. “Librarianship is changing,” Kerelchuk says. Libraries are shifting their goals in response to patrons’ needs. Providing reading material is still at the core of DCPL’s mission, sure, but library administrators also feel compelled to offer advanced technical training that visitors have requested.
[DCPL Executive Director Richard] Reyes-Gavilan’s long-term goal is to connect equipment and software training in a series of courses that could lead to certification through DCPL. A focus on training tech skills could be an economic driver for the city. For now, the library is just embracing experimentation—its goals are fuzzy in part because its own staff members are still learning. They need to be well-versed enough in the labs’ machinery and software to teach orientation classes that patrons take before using a 3-D printer or laser cutter. There’s always troubleshooting to do, too.
“The [library] administration understands that we’re going to fail. We’re going to make mistakes. Our motto in Labs is, ‘we break it better,’” Kerelchuk says. “This technology is emerging for a reason, and being able to learn from it is the most exciting thing about this department.”
and RELAUNCHING on September 1, 2015: Dream Lab