When technology advances libraries are tasked with staying relevant to the community and often need to expand the scope of what services they provide, and over the course of the past couple years there has been a rising interest in technology, creating, crafting, and libraries have taken notice. Many have created what is known as a ‘makerspace’, which is an area given to individuals who want to express their creativity using various technological tools and is yet another example of how libraries are keeping up with the times.
A survey by John Burke at Miami University found that 109 libraries in the US had or planned on opening a makerspace in the near future. Luckily for any of our patrons, the Dover Public Library is one of them, and is planning on opening the space sometime in October. The items that are included in the planned media lab/makerspace are adobe premier, adobe photoshop elements, green screens, cameras, drawing tablets, and our new 3D printer. For the past couple of days the staff here at the library has been practicing 3D printing, and it is really an amazing thing. I was skeptical of how useful a 3D printer actually could be, but it turns out that the possibilities seem to be endless. From gadgets and toys to models and tools, you can print just about anything you can imagine with a 3d printer. The other, more traditional creative software and tools should help people create anything they want, from invitations/business cards to short films and photo albums. We are hopeful that having a dedicated area for creation will help to inspire everyone to jump in and begin exploring creative fields that may have been previously closed to them, and possibly work with one another on different projects.
Libraries who have already implemented their makerspaces have seen an increase in traffic from people who wouldn’t have otherwise stopped by, and that infusion of new visitors may help to inspire and create new programs for everybody. The space helps to further show people that the library is not just a place that houses books, but is a place for growth, learning, and the community. We are looking forward to seeing what kind of things you are going to create!