“People no longer have to come to a library to get information, so the library has to get people coming in for different reasons. Students need somewhere to socialize, create things and collaborate” (Vangelova, 2014). Libraries are a great place for people to find a new hobby or take in a workshop/class, like Books and Butchers (Stephens, 2017). Having technological pieces such as 3D printers, Raspberry Pi, and Arduino kits allow people to learn something new just for fun or because it is something that they are truly passionate about.

When I started at my current position, two years ago, at an academic library I had never heard of Makerspaces, because my local city and county libraries did not have such a thing. Sure, I had heard of 3D printers but had never actually seen one in action – which by the way, is pretty fascinating to watch. Two years ago, we acquired a 3D printer that the Physics Department no longer wanted and the 3D printer was loaned to the library. From there we started creating projects for students. This past year we were able to create a Makerspace and now students are able to create their own projects for class projects or just for fun.

In fact, a Senior art major decided to use the 3D printer to create pieces that she turned into a dress for her Senior Project.

Senior Art Project

3D printers take learning to the next level because people are able to have a hands-on learning experience. For example, Stephen’s Infinite Learning Lecture (2017), mentioned how a girl  was doing research on the Titanic and was able to see a 3D printed model to get an idea of what the ship looked like, or the students who were able to learn about the Raspberry Pi.

Whatever the future brings, the library will be a place for people to: learn, to express their creativity, and socialize.

References:

Stephens, Michael. (2017). Infinite Learning Lecture.

Vangelova, L. (2014). What does the next-generation school library look like? Retrieved from https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2014/06/18/what-does-the-next-generation-school-library-look-like/