What is a Makerspace

By Hayley Grams

The Gering Public Library has introduced a new MakerSpace to our collection! But what IS a MakerSpace?

A makerspace is an open workspace that has a variety of tools, from high-tech to low-tech, that can be used to make, create, learn, and explore! The Gering Library’s MakerSpace has added a few of these tools to our creative collection: a button-maker, a wire-binding machine, and a Cricut machine and heat press.

The button maker is easy to use. You can even create your own custom designs. You can make a button with a picture of your pet to pin on your backpack, or one with the words, “Vote for Pedro.” The library provides materials for making a button free of charge. If you want your button to show how much you love the Gering Library, come visit us at Legion Park on May 31st from 3-5 pm, for our Summer Reading Kickoff event. We’ll be making buttons for everyone who signs up, if you want to come and see the button maker in action!

Maybe you want to make use of our wire-binding machine. You can easily use this to put together a bound copy of your professional portfolio, or create your own poetry book. You can even put together a bound booklet of your favorite family recipes. You can either bring your own papers ready to be bound, or print something out at the library. We’ll provide the wire-binding for the machine for free. 

The Cricut is a machine that can be used to cut out letters and shapes from materials like paper, cardstock and vinyl. Many of our library displays are made with a Cricut. You can use the Cricut to cleanly cut out huge letters, like for instance, “Go Bulldogs!” The Cricut can also cut out anything from basic shapes, like hearts and stars, to more complicated designs. Just upload any copyright free image from the internet to get an outline. Then, the Cricut will begin its work. 

You can use the Cricut to cut out tiny flowers and glue them to your hand-written thank you notes, or cut out a larger design to hang in your window. Check out the library’s front window display during our Summer Reading Program starting in May to see an awesome example! 

If you want to make T-shirts, the Cricut can cut out your T-shirt design on vinyl, and the corresponding heat press can iron on the design. Get creative by making tote bags with your favorite quote, or add your favorite athlete’s jersey number on the back of a jacket. You’ll have to bring your own materials for most of these projects, but teens will have the opportunity to make their own T-shirt designs if they sign up for TAG, our Teen Advisory Group. If you’d like to know more about this program, please ask our Youth Services Librarian.

What if you’ve never used any of these things before? Not to worry! Each of these machines will have instructions available for you to follow. They’re easy to use, and the first time you use the MakerSpace, we’ll make sure you know the basics of how everything works. If you want someone to give you an in-depth tutorial on any of our new tools, be sure to call ahead and we’ll make sure staff can assist you. 

All the tools in our MakerSpace are free to use, with a variety of materials available to patrons for free too. If you have any big projects in mind, let us know and we’ll see what can be provided by the library, and what materials you’ll need to bring yourself. 

The MakerSpace is available for all library patrons 18 years or older. Kids 9-15 will need adult supervision, to use the MakerSpace and 16-17 year-olds will need permission before they can use it on their own. Visit gering.org/library and click on “Using the Library” to find our MakerSpace policy and release forms. 

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