In the Magazine on Medium, Alex Duner profiles The Maker Lab at the Chicago Public Library. He underlines a trend in which the library as a community space moves towards the creative and collaborative by providing 3D printers available to the public:
The Maker Lab is funded by a federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The grant ended in December but the library received an extension to keep the Lab operating through March. Then the space, called at other times the Innovation Lab, will transform into something else. “Maybe a graphic design space or an e-reader petting zoo,” Anderson muses. It is a process of innovation and iteration that lets the Chicago Public Library experiment with new ways for it to meet patrons’ changing demands.
A study on library habits by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 59 percent of Americans definitely want libraries to have “more comfortable spaces” for working and collaborating. Forty-seven percent said libraries should definitely offer “more interactive learning experiences.”
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.