ELMSDALE: The Elmsdale library is slowly evolving from the more traditional library to a “makerspace”, with the help of introducing new technologies, like a 3-D printer.
A makerspace is a designated location for people to gather where in which they have all the creative tools, technologies, and social connections on hand to create, learn or invent. This is the typical direction we see libraries heading as they try to advance with the times, according to Elmsdale Library Branch Manager, Pam Eakin, and the 3-D printer is a great tool to develop the makerspace atmosphere.
The 3-D printer was gifted to the library by Leno Ribahi and his brothers, Abe and Eli and their families about two months ago.
“They wanted to donate money to the library and they had a discussion of what is the best thing to do, as libraries are evolving, having technology spaces available to the public is more important now than ever,” said Eakin.
So far, the response and feedback received from the community has been great, said Eakin, “people are very interested, they think it’s so cool— that’s everyone, people of all ages.”
The 3-D printer is available for anyone to use at the cost of $1 per hour, and Eakin said they’ve had people come and use it to print a variety of things, from toy trains, to more functional objects.
“The first thing we printed off was a toy train and tracks, but since we’ve had people come in saying like ‘oh, we broke this piece off of this and we need to fix it’, so the printer will just print off that missing piece.”
In order for the printer to print an object, first some complex coding must take place to be able to provide it with proper instructions. So Eakin suggests anyone wanting to have something printed first checks out www.thingiverse.com, where they can find an array of pre-coded objects available for print.
Eakin also wants to let the public know that there is still lots of room available to sign up for the libraries summer reading programs, where they will be using the 3-D printer for a variety of activities throughout the summer.