Land O’ Lakes library opens makerspace

The Land O’ Lakes Branch Library officially opens its new “makerspace,” known as the Foundry, at a ribbon cutting on Dec. 17 at 10 a.m., at 2818 Collier Pkwy.

It will be the first dedicated makerspace for a Pasco County library, but likely not the last. The technology and equipment at the Foundry is the future for libraries that are adapting to the 21st century needs of their tech-savvy patrons.

Parents and children with the Lego robotics team talk about their upcoming projects. But yarn and thread, shown in the background, are part of the crafting supplies provided by the new makerspace at the Land O’ Lakes library. (Kathy Steele/Staff Photos)

Parents and children with the Lego robotics team talk about their upcoming projects. But yarn and thread, shown in the background, are part of the crafting supplies provided by the new makerspace at the Land O’ Lakes library.
(Kathy Steele/Staff Photos)

The Foundry will have two 3-D printers, state-of-the-art Computer Aided Design (CAD) equipment, an Oculus Rift virtual reality system, and an audio recording studio.

However, traditional hand and power tools as well as crafting tools and supplies, including yarn and thread, also will be available.

At the ribbon cutting, there will be tours of the Foundry and demonstrations of the 3-D printer, the virtual reality system, and the recording studio.

Refreshments will be provided by the Friends of the Land O’ Lakes Library.

The Foundry will be open 15 hours a week, with a librarian available to answer questions and show how the technology works.

A survey was done to find out how people would want to use the makerspace, said Kathleen Rothstein, the library’s branch manager.

The room already is the meeting place for the Edgar Allan Ohms robotics team from Land O’ Lakes High School. The team is unique in being sponsored by the library.

However, Rothstein said the room also would host other activities.

Phoebe Mitchell, 16, shows off a washer made on the 3-D printer for use with a robot made by the Edgar Allan Ohms Robotics team from Land O’ Lakes High School.

Phoebe Mitchell, 16, shows off a washer made on the 3-D printer for use with a robot made by the Edgar Allan Ohms Robotics team from Land O’ Lakes High School.

“A lot of people want to learn textiles,” she said. “They want sewing basics classes, and to learn how to do small home repairs and woodworking.”

So far, people have used the 3-D printers to do small items, such as figurines, Rothstein said.

The printers can make items as large as 8 inches by 8 inches, she added.

The robotics team already is finding the CAD system and 3-D printers useful in building its robots. In one instance, the team produced a plastic washer.

It took about 10 minutes including prepping and cooling off times, said 16-year-old Phoebe Mitchell, the robotics team’s safety captain.

“It was a lot easier than going to a store to get it,” she said. “It’s cheaper than buying them. And, they seem to hold up really well.”

For information about makerspace, call the library at (813) 929-1214.

Published December 16, 2015

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