This summer, Simpson Library is involved in an exciting project.  We are working with the talented visionaries of the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies and with George Meadows from the College of Education to convert our back classroom into a makerspace.

The back classroom, also known as the other half of Simpson 225 had become the place we put stuff we didn’t want anymore but couldn’t quite throw away.  We collected old computers, microfilm machines, software documentation, shelving, and all sorts of other goodies.  I’m sure we had a good reason to keep every item we put in this room — after all, you never know when microcards are going to make a comeback.

makerbot

The DTLT MakerBot

Then our friends in DTLT bought and assembled a MakerBot.  Last December, I spent a fascinating day watching them put it together.  Being more of an old-school person, I worked on a sock that I was knitting.   But I was intrigued.

Tim Owens from DTLT and George Meadows will be teaching a First-Year Seminar using the MakerBots this fall.  And that’s where the library’s back classroom comes in.  Tim and George needed a space for the class to meet and where students can work on projects.   We had a space that wasn’t being used for anything other than storage.  I offered, and they gladly accepted.

Last Friday, June 22, we started clearing out the stuff we’d stored in the back classroom.  When we’ve finished creating the Makerspace, we’ll have two MakerBots, a Replicator, and all sorts of other tools and toys.  While there are public libraries that have created similar spaces, we think we may be one of the few academic libraries to do so.  How exciting is that!

Here are some “before” pictures and pictures of the first clean-out day.  As the summer progresses and we start bringing things into the space, I’ll post updates.

Hallway leading to Makerspace

The Road to Makerspace

Makerspace before

Before

Old computers

Library junk