An Education on Makerspaces by Jaclyn McKewan

On December 1st, WNYLRC hosted a workshop, “Making the Making: Developing Makerspaces in Public Libraries.” Leah Kraus and Michael Cimino, both from the Fayetteville Free Library, in Fayetteville, NY, presented. Their library was the first to offer a Makerspace, which allows patrons to work on creative projects, both digital and physical.

It all started in 2011, when a student intern came up with the idea of offering 3D printing in the library. They frequently have interns from Syracuse University’s iSchool, and the library is very open to interns developing their own projects. Leah stated, “We leave the internships very open and let the students craft them,” which is a very forward-thinking stance. Later in the workshop, an attendee asked if there was anything different about Fayetteville that made them more innovative/progressive than others, and the presenters commented on the importance of having a director who’s supportive of new ideas. So it goes to show that having a culture that encourages innovation can pay off.

The library’s various Makerspace offerings (for on-site use) now include:
-a green screen wall for photography effects
-cameras and video cameras
-crafting tools
-digital media software
-sewing machines
-and lots more

In addition, there are clubs for younger library users, and classes for anyone to learn how to use the equipment. Any library offering a Makerspace needs to include education for patrons, as well as consider staffing issues for keeping the facilities supervised.

You can find out more about Fayetteville’s Makerspace  .


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