Contact: CJ Lynce, email@example.com
Community Partners: MC2 STEM High School, Youth Opportunities Unlimited
The maker services at TechCentral, Cleveland Public Library consists of two aspects: Hands-on MakerLab programming, and a fabrication and production space called MakerSpace.
MakerLab programs use fun, new, and interesting topics to attract people to learn and create using a variety of skills and techniques, ‘making makers’ and attracting skilled makers alike interested in learning about new ways to make. The more than 26 MakerLab topics include high and low-tech versions of photography, 3D printing, font creation, computer programming, art and design, laser engraving and cutting, and more. MakerLabs are targeted at a variety of ages ranging from school-aged to adults and seniors, depending on topic. Labs are offered at all 27 CPL branches, and Main Library.
The TechCentral MakerSpace is a dedicated fabrication and production space located at Main Library. MakerSpace provides access to laser engraving, 3d printing, audio, video, and photo production enabling hobbyists, entrepreneurs, and other makers looking to focus on production and fabrication skills. MakerSpace is available to patrons ages 12+. TechCentral has also partnered with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s MC2 STEM High school to provide internship opportunities for students within the MakerSpace.
The TechCentral MakerLabs have been successful in exposing a wide audience of library patrons to variety of new skills, both high-tech and low-tech. Through this hands-on programming, many new ‘makers’ have been made, teaching the basic skills and thought processes behind creative learning. Some of these makers have even graduated on to using the more advanced software and equipment available in the TechCentral MakerSpace. TechCentral is often requested to perform outreach 3D printing basic programs to schools, community groups, and even other libraries whose patrons are interested in this up-and-coming technology.
The TechCentral MakerSpace has been successful in providing access to professional-grade equipment and software for patrons of a variety of skill levels and needs. In one instance, a patron designed and 3D printed a unique piece of equipment for his photography business that he was unable to find commercially. In another instance, a patron utilized the MakerSpace laser engraver and software to begin producing crafts and novelties that he intended to use to start an online business.
The partnership with MC2 STEM High School has been successful in providing employment experience for students by working alongside patrons and staff within the MakerSpace. Interns, in turn, provide expertise and learning opportunities for library patrons utilizing the MakerSpace: www.cpl.org/thelibrary/subjectscollections/techcentral/makerspace-2.