According to this Forbes article, the Fayetteville Free Library is the first in the United States to create a maker space within a public library. If Fayetteville sounds familiar it might be because it’s near Syracuse and not that far from Rochester. The library calls their maker space “Fab Lab” and it features a MakerBot Thing-O-Matic 3D printer.
The lab was Lauren Smedley’s idea. She wrote a graduate school paper about it that the library’s executive director liked it so much she hired Ms. Smedley to make it happen.
Public libraries are looking for ways to evolve and the FFL is not the only one that has added a maker space. We wrote not long ago about the Westport Connecticut Library. They held a “maker fair” last April that was so successful they also decided to create a maker space inside their library.
We’ve been quietly discussing buying a 3D printer right now and using it in library meeting rooms until we can rent our own space. Now I’m wondering if we should try and formally partner with some of our community’s libraries.
The libraries could learn, without cost, if access to 3D printers or other tools is something their patrons would like. And if it is something they can provide, like the computers and computer classes they provide now. Our maker space would get valuable publicity and places to regularly use our 3D printer and hold classes about it.
Anyone interested in going to Fayetteville soon on a Saturday to learn more about their “Fab Lab” and MakerBot 3D printer?