Irving Public Library has procured grant funding from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Texas State Library and Archives Commission to transform its digital media labs into complete makerspaces at two locations; South Irving Library, 601 Shulze Drive, and Valley Ranch Library, 401 Cimarron Trail. The multiyear project is designed to help residents learn 21st century job skills, enable patrons to explore their creativity, and promote community building and collaboration. During this first grant year, the library will build the foundation for a “maker movement” within the city by purchasing equipment, developing curriculum, training library staff to use the technology, opening the makerspaces to the public, and beginning basic programs and activities.
In late 2019, residents received a survey from the library to better understand the need for makerspaces in the community. The response was overwhelming with nearly 1,200 responses and comments. Irving Public Library intends to develop a premiere makerspace in North Texas with plenty of space to work and a variety of fun tools and state-of-the-art equipment. Planned purchases include new 3D printers, a laser etcher, sewing machines, a sound proof recording booth, a Cricut smart cutting machine and computers with the latest graphics software.
The new makerspaces are planned to open in April 2021.
This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (Grant #LS-246193-OLS-20)* to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act. (2021)
A library makerspace, also named Hackerspace or Hacklab, is an area and/or service that offers library patrons an opportunity to create intellectual and physical materials using resources such as computers, 3-D printers, audio and video capture and editing tools, and traditional arts and crafts supplies.