By Mike Drew SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — The Onondaga County Public Library’s downtown branch has the look of a technological minefield. The brand new “Maker Space” is now up and running and completely free to the public. The space is equipped with a virtual reality machine, capable of running zSpace Studio software. This allows users to interactively learn about any topic of their choice, from sea creatures to human anatomy. Across from this machine are two state-of-the-art studios: one designed for audio purposes, the other for video.
Emerging Technologies Librarian Casey Koons is most pleased that all of these technologies are accessible to anyone who wants to use them. “We want to be able to provide the resources for anyone in the community to be able to make, repair, create, take apart whatever they want to or need to,” he says.
Within that community exists a pressing need for opportunities to learn and create while making use of new technology. The library’s new website details how it would like users to become more involved.
Librarian Janet Feathers stresses this served as one of the primary reasons for the library to go forward with the project. “We have a lot of people who can’t afford to go into a studio or, you know, they don’t have a place that they can be creative,” she says. When asked what she hopes community members will use the space for, she simply says, “everything.”
Several groups of children were present in the “Maker Space” on Thursday. Some were constructing Lego towers, others studying human anatomy through the lens of 3-D glasses. But, all of the patrons present in the Maker Space were doing exactly what the library intended them to do: collaborating with other like-minded individuals to discover their own creativity through the use of modern technology.