Libraries are dynamic institutions. The book-centric model of past decades has evolved to include both communal and DIY aspects to library service and learning. We love The Library Lab, our new makerspace located in the bright and colorful northeast corner of the main floor. Its purpose and design encourage participatory learning, experimentation, collaboration, and innovation in a hands-on do-it-yourself environment. It is a place for experimenting and discovering new outcomes if not by scientific process then by collaborating with friends or experts, serendipity, or solitary focus.
There are many iterations of maker spaces in libraries, schools, and community centers now. The Lab is equipped to support experiential learning, or learning by doing. We want you to try and figure things out on your own through trial and error, watching video tutorials, or just getting your hands dirty before asking for help. Check out the complete list of equipment and user rules at our website pitcolib.org.
There is a great deal of research available now about how well children and young adults learn through play. What looks like “just play” to adults is usually a sign of true learning.
HOW Makerspaces help us learn
- Fostering critical thinking skills
- Introduces youth to the latest technology in a world where technical vocabulary is becoming more and more essential
- Provides access to expensive supplies and technology that wouldn’t be realistic to have at home, or perhaps even at school
- Exposes kids to activities that can spark new interests, greater creativity or even reveal a new lifelong passion
- Prepare students for college or careers in STEM fields
- Develops critical thinking skills, patience and problem-solving
We pick an area of The Lab and offer a workshop on an aspect of its capabilities, so watch for Maker Workshop of the Month.
WHAT’s in the Makerspace lab
- Digital Art and Media – This whole room is a green screen. Adobe Creative Cloud, Gimp, and Art Range Studio are some of the apps loaded on this computer. An Epson photo scanner and wide format printer are installed in the room. Lights, headphones, and tripods are set up for use. The room is equipped
to support photography, video, print and digital
- 3D Printing and Game Design – Our Lulzbot Mini
3D printer shares space with a Mac computer running El Capitan, Mineways, 123 Design, EpicGames, and more. Training is required to use the 3D printer.
- Sound Booth – This small room is equipped in part with an acoustic electric guitar, Casio keyboard, microphones, headphones, and Garageband software. Listen, record, practice, and compose
- Tinker Room – Coding software is coming soon,
but there is plenty to do with Cura, Mineways,
and 123D Design
- Sewing machines, Cubelets, robots, Play-Doh, Makey-Makeys, iPads – come find out!
Martha Durgey, Pitkin County Library