Libraries are breaking away from stereotypical books and dusty carts, and letting the community try technology they can only fantasize using on computer screens. If the makerspace doesn't make sense in the library, here are why 5 reasons why it does.
1. Digital Literacy
As part of our #DigitalMarkham initiative, Markham libraries are committed to providing access to help build our community’s digital literacy skills, not just reading literacy. Our libraries have the support in our tech programs (i.e. 3D Printing and 3D modeling for adults and kids, coding, Video editing, Photoshop, Podcasting, etc.), online classes (i.e. Universal Class), one on one help (i.e. Learn about Word or Excel), or even experiment with our equipment for your own purposes (i.e. Cricut, Adobe CC, Laser Engraver, etc.). Don’t hesitate to speak to our Digital Literacy Specialists, we’re here to help.
2. Low Cost, High Reward
Makerspaces give people access to equipment that's usually really expensive to lease or own. At the library, we’ve established the proper space and the support to get you started whether it involves business, a school project or a personal gift. Achieving skills to build a customized product on your own is an experience everyone should attain and feels even better paying less. Despite the regular technical challenges, it always ends up being a fun, memorable experience and skill you don’t forget.
For example,the laser engraver is a great way to mass produce personalized products with a touch of a button for your own business. In the end you’ve built skills and a professional looking product and save extra labour costs from a third party vendor.
3. Collaboration and Networking
Although libraries are known for their quiet atmosphere, it's a place of unity where ideas are shared amongst friends, colleagues and even makers. Makerspaces are communal areas where like minded individuals can learn from each other and share experiences with regards to technology and computers. The makerspace is meant to be a collaborative shared space, so the next time you’re in, don’t feel hesitant, feel curious to ask what they’re working on.
4. Best Kept Secret
Not like we want this to be a secret but the library holds the most valuable resources in knowledge not enough people take advantage of. While spaces like this in the library seem like a new discovery to everyone you meet, ensure you take advantage before everyone finds out. Keep yourself posted on what’s new on our website by checking our Markham Makerspace section and check your local library to see what your community has access to.
5. The Future
Makerspaces are future thinking, and allow members of the community to learn digital skills that will be helpful years down the line. Coding and digital creation are skills that our children can build on in the next decade.