In a makerspace, users can discover technology by exploring their interests and imagination.
In the explosion of new technology in our lives, it is important that we understand what the technology is and what it can do for us. Libraries are uniquely able to equip their communities with information to understand and use these evolving technologies. A makerspace is one way to accomplish that: users can access a range of tools and materials and learn to use them for their own projects. From 3D printing to arts and crafts, there is no set list of tools or equipment; some makerspaces have even included play doh and duct tape. The main requirement is that a makerspace fosters a sense of play and exploration.
On the second Saturday of the month the South West Makers meet at the Eaton Community Library. This group of individuals enjoys coming together and making things; by providing a collaborative learning environment, the group pool their skills and knowledge to create and explore new technologies. They encourage tinkering and nurture the act of problem solving. Equipped with 3D printers, laser cutters, 3D scanners, Raspberry Pi computers, drones, LEDs, Arduinos and fabric art, the Makers create a wonderful opportunity for people in the community to learn and enjoy the do-it-yourself ethos of the maker movement.
Makerspaces can be an important part of our community, building a mindset of creativity and collaboration. It takes the idea of libraries as hubs of information a step further by providing the opportunity to actively do something with that information. It allows people to bring their learning and their ideas to life in a collaborative way and explore a variety media, tools and practices.