Contact: Anna Basile, Anna.basile@BiblioOttawaLibrary.ca
Community Partners: U.S. Embassy in Ottawa
The Ottawa Public Library held a crowd-sourcing campaign in 2013 and learned that its customers are very interested in new technologies and tools, and hands-on learning and creation. OPL strives to be responsive to the community’s needs and to help connect people to each other and world. Libraries are places devoted to learning and discovery; OPL’s makerspace, called Imagine Space - an American Corner, provides customers, especially youth, with new tools and technologies to promote innovation and learning in STEM fields, to connect art and design with social and economic change, to teach digital literacy and skills in digital media and artifact creation. The following cutting edge equipment is available in the Imagine Space: 3D printing and modeling, laser cutting, photo, video and audio editing, green screen and video gear, hand tools and electronics, and a wall-to-wall whiteboard. Taking ideas and projects to the next level is very important to both OPL and the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa. They collaborated in the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship for mutual prosperity and economic well-being.
- Developed a relationship with the U.S Embassy in Ottawa to establish the first American Corner in Canada.
- OPL now has agreements with local organizations that otherwise would not have been possible (Maker Junior, True Innovators, STEM design labs)
- This collaboration hub has attracted hobbyists groups and clubs, and multiple class visits, which have come out specifically to see the space. People using Imagine Space are developing ad-hoc groups, enabling them to share and pool their knowledge.
- Imagine Space is filling a technology-awareness gap: Younger people are coming with their
parents and grandparents.
- The Imagine Space equipment has been used to create Minecraft figures to give out as
promotional pieces/sample at various events.
- A launch event featured His Excellency Bruce Heyman, United States Ambassador to Canada and
His Worship Jim Watson, Mayor of the City of Ottawa. This was his Excellency’s first public event
as ambassador to Canada.
- Customers have created game boards and pieces, lamps, robotics and rapid product prototypes
- This space provides customers a learning opportunity that would otherwise not be readily
available because this technology/equipment is expensive and specialized.