ANTIGONISH – Maybe it’s a mug with a unique decal or a cool t-shirt design, thanks to the Silhouette Cameo Machine. It could be a chess piece printed with the 3D printer, the ability for someone to design their own brochure or business card with the Adobe Creative Suite software, or teaching someone how to make their own doll clothes with a sewing machine.
Whatever the reason may be, the new Makerspace at the People’s Place: Antigonish Town and County Library allows library users to bring creative ideas to life with the official launch set to take place on Friday, April 7 at 1 p.m. and all are welcome.
A “Makerspace” is a general term for a place where people come together to make projects in a communal space. Makerspace equipment and software are available for use free of charge to library patrons. Some supplies are available at a minimal cost. It’s a reminder of the changing role libraries have in their communities, and an example of people coming together to support a common cause.
“Libraries have evolved beyond traditional storehouses of books into centres of learning, community collaboration, and creativity. The People’s Place is, by design, an example of how community members come together to not only create a space but also guide the use of the space. A Makerspace fits quite well with this philosophy,” says Kristel Fleuren-Hunter, Antigonish branch librarian.
A key supporter of the People’s Makerspace is the Friends of the Antigonish Library (FoAL), whose contributions have facilitated the purchase of equipment and supplies as well as programming opportunities for children and youth. According to Sarah Armstrong, chair of the Friends of the Antigonish Library, “The Makerspace exemplifies the core values of our library: creativity, access to technology and the cultivation of a love of learning. The impressive range of project possibilities excites the imagination of patrons of all ages.”
Additional support for the site has come from the Adopt-a-Library Literacy Program, which has purchased a sewing machine that is available for public use, and other community technology grant programs. At present, the People’s Makerspace has, in addition to the sewing machine, a Silhouette Cameo, a 3D printer, LittleBits and Makey-Makey kits, and high-quality design software such as Adobe Photoshop and AutoCAD, to name a few examples. Everyone is welcome to use this space. People are asked to contact the library at (902) 863-4276 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to ask about availability and make arrangements to book the equipment.