The Mullica Hill library is making advanced technology more accessible with its MakerSpace programs.
“Our MakerSpaces are designed to encourage creative thinking and innovation for the young and old,” said Digital Services Librarian Paul Palmer. “Most of our programs are designed to invite people to come in and learn about the technology we have on offer.”
The library holds the MakersSpace programs on certain days in the year to showcase its technology by having patrons use a MakerStudio to try things out. The next session is scheduled for Saturday, March 25.
MakerSpace includes access to 3D modeling and design through the Gravity Sketch program and can even transfer old VHS tapes to DVDs or other media through its digital lab. The use of Virtual Reality (VR) headsets – put on hold during COVID – are back as well.
“The VR (headset) is one of the many pieces of equipment the MakerStudio and InnovationStudio offer,” Palmer explained. “Our MakerSpaces are designed to offer the public access to technology and equipment that they might not otherwise have access to.
“VR can be used for entertainment, such as playing games like Beat Saber, but it can also be used to create unique art with programs like Tilt Brush or 3D modeling with something like Gravity Sketch,” he added. “You can even export your 3D model you made in VR and send it to the 3D printer to get a physical item from something you designed in virtual reality.”
The equipment in the MakerSpaces is generally designed for those 13 and up, but kids can use 3D printers if they have an adult with them.
The Mullica Hill branch was the first in the Gloucester County Library System (GCLS) to demonstrate MakerSpace, and it has now been introduced at the Glassboro library and Rowan College of South Jersey branches.
“We have a new Learning and Literacy computer lab outside the MakerStudio, and I think it would be fun to invite people to learn how to design a simple VR-compatible world using something like Unity,” Palmer noted. “Or, as I mentioned previously, you can 3D model something in VR and then 3D prints it, so maybe a more structured program that takes people through the steps to do that.
“If our reintroduction of VR proves particularly popular, maybe adding a few additional units and having a sort of VR cafe would be another option.”
MakerSpace use requires registration here: registration form