"To describe them simply, makerspaces are community centers with tools. Makerspaces combine manufacturing equipment, community, and education for the purposes of enabling community members to design, prototype and create manufactured works that wouldn’t be possible to create with the resources available to individuals working alone."
Makerspaces have often been appearing in libraries; quite the contrast from the traditional quiet racks of books. The new Makerspace in our library has a 3D printer that can print plastic, metal and wood filament objects, a Go-Pro camera, an Ozobot and Makey Makey for coding, button machine, die-cutter, sewing machine, and many other tools and technology. We saw a demonstration and it was like being in a candy store: you just wanted to touch things.
The library's hope is that people will come together to work on projects and share ideas, now through technology instead of just through print. "The emphasis [of the library] remains on lifelong learning and literacy, but as with the variety of information formats, literacy has expanded to include technology literacy," states their brochure.
Look around your community and see if there is a makerspace available for you to gain hands-on experience with a new set of tactile tools. You never know what you'll be able to create.
-- beth triplett