Maker Center at the Harold Washington Library in Chicago. Libraries will do whatever it takes to get people in their doors these days. Time to dust off the library card.. (via CPL)
Libraries are a great central hub for those looking to learn and enjoy themselves while engrossed in their favorite literature. Newspapers, magazines, periodicals, fiction, non-fiction and even maps can all be found in most public libraries, however not all libraries are the same. Some feature specialized learning centers for kids, some offer music and movie rentals (no popcorn of course) and others, such as the Chicago Public Library, will soon feature a ‘maker center’ at their Harold Washington Library Center as a learning tool. That’s maker as in project design, development and manufacturing using some of the latest technology currently available for hobbyists. This includes 3D printers, laser cutters, vinyl cutters and a milling machine, which are all available to the general public to use. The CPL Innovation Lab also features a myriad of software (Trimble Sketchup, Inkscape, Meshlab, etc.) that can be used in conjunction with said tools; however, it is unclear if the library will provide the materials for users to create their projects or whether they will be fee based. The lab was created in partnership with the Museum of Science and Industry in an effort to educate communities on new technologies and a way for people to come together to share knowledge on creating, building and manufacturing various projects (enabling home business opportunities). Library staff will be on-hand to answer questions as well as teach those on the specialized software if so needed. There will also be a family-oriented workshop held on Sunday to raise awareness on Chicago’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) programs to foster interest in creative and innovative studies. The CPL Innovation Lab will be open for a limited time only, from July 8 to the end of this year, so those looking to manufacture their projects before the end date should hurry in ASAP as there is sure to be a lengthy waiting list (unless its fee based).
I’ll go check out the CPL “maker center.” I’ve been meaning to renew my library card anyway. Also, who goes to the library anymore?
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