3-D Printers and Maker Space Workshops Have Arrived in Libraries across the Country: Might the BPL be Next?

Some of you may have noticed the cutting-edge 3D printer display in a new store front on Newbury Street at Dartmouth. Maker Space Workshop in Harold Washington Library, Chicago

But libraries all over the country already offer these so-called Maker Spaces, and accompanying workshops, to their library users.  "A maker space like this would get my son back into the library," said a Jamaica Plain parent who sent FOSEL an email link to an article about it  by Alex Duner in the electronic publication, The Magazine

Duner describes the so-called Maker Lab in the Harold Washington Library in downtown Chicago where a federal grant from the  Institute of Museum and Library Services has provided funding for it since July 2013. The grant ended in December but the library received an extension to keep the Lab operating through March. According to the article, the Maker Lab has been a huge success. “It’s been crazy popular. We can’t keep up with demand for classes,” says Pedro Leon, one of the librarians who works in the Maker Lab. “People have been reading about technologies like 3D printers for a long time. This is giving them an opportunity to learn this stuff.”

Libraries in Chattanooga, TN; Westport, CT; Fayetteville, NY; Fort Wayne, IN; Madison, WI; and Washington DC also offer 3D instruction and usage. Might the BPL be next? An email was sent to BPL president Amy Ryan: her response will be reported as soon as it comes in.

For a link to the complete article by Alex Duner, called  Shifting from Shelves to Snowflakes, click here. And, if you want to learn more about Maker Spaces in libraries, sign up for a free Maker Space meeting, Saturday, February 8 at 1:00 PM at the Earl Center for Learning and Innovation, 200 Riverway, Boston, MA. For more info, click here.