Libraries have always been a place to spark inspiration, but the Syosset Public Library is taking its commitment to this ideal to a whole new level. Officials at the Syosset library recently announced the opening of Creation Station, a “makerspace” where users can investigate emerging technologies.
“A ‘makerspace,’ the latest innovation for libraries, is a do-it-yourself space where people of all ages can gather to imagine, create, invent and learn, which is exactly how the Creation Station is envisioned,” said library director, Karen Liebman.
The creation station comes equipped with something for all the creative minds that venture into the Syosset Library. The station is equipped with two Makerbot Replicator 5th Generation 3D printers and a variety of design software and apps. Users of all ages can find and create 3D objects for fun or work using ecofriendly bioplastic material. These modern printers use “additive” technology to build objects layer by layer from the bottom up using the melted plastic, which then cools and hardens. Three-dimensional printing is becoming commonplace in both the academic and business worlds.
“We are meeting the needs of the community,” said Liebman. “Middle and high school students are being exposed to this technology at the schools and can continue their projects and assignments in the library. Local business owners will also benefit from having access to this emerging technology.”
The iMac computers will have programs such as iMovie, Garage Band and Adobe Photoshop, allowing users to exhibit their creativity by producing and editing their own movies, music and photographs. Youngsters of all ages can practice cartooning skills using Sketchbook Express and Anime Studio. In addition, two iPads will be fully loaded with creative apps such as Artsy, Sploder Arcade Creator, Tinkerplay, Cubify Draw and other craft, art and design related programs.
Craft enthusiasts will be able to complete unique scrapbooking, home décor and seasonal projects using the Cricut Explore Air. By choosing online, preprogrammed patterns or by creating their own, users will be able to download designs and cut them electronically. The machine can be used to cut a wide variety of materials including paper, vinyl and fabrics.
To emphasize the library’s commitment to cutting edge technology, it is partnering with local teen volunteers and Enabling The Future (www.enablingthefuture.org/), a non-profit organization dedicated to pairing volunteer makers with people who are in need of prosthetic hands. After printing and assembling a prototype hand, the library is in the process of being paired with a person in need.
Sharon Long, head of teen services at the Syosset library, has been using an earlier generation Makerbot with teens for several years.
“We knew it was time to find a space for the community to explore this new technology once we started hearing that their parents wanted a chance to be creative too”, said Liebman.