STAMFORD, CT - Visit the Library these days, and alongside patrons who are reading or working on a computer, you might spot people welding with soldering irons, groups working to create a 3-D printer, and others operating sewing machines.
These programs are part of Makerspace, a new phenomenon that is sweeping the country in forward-thinking public spaces, like The Ferguson Library. Makerspaces are hands-on work spaces for learning about crafts and new technologies to actually build something. By offering a place for people to collaborate and create, Makerspace classes at The Ferguson have the potential to demystify everything from science and technology to sewing and design.
Pairing mentors who are experts in their fields, and patrons who are eager to learn a new hands-on skill, Makerspace programs have the potential to broaden the focus of what libraries have to offer. As these classes gain momentum, they have the potential to transform and increase the participation in library programs by attracting a network of people who share common goals.
The Makerspace idea grew out of the “Hackerspace” movement which originated in Germany in the 1990’s, and at that time the classes focused mainly on groups interested in digital and computer science. Nowadays, Makerspace classes offer a broad spectrum of subjects and appeal to a greater variety of interests.
In October, Makerspace participants at The Ferguson Library will get hands-on experience and learn how to build a website and create their first robot. The Ferguson will also offer classes in sewing with a fashion designer. Check out the online calendar at www.fergusonlibrary.org for more information. Sign up and get busy creating!