Keeping them in stitches
New library community space marries technology and community
If smiles and laughter are an indicator of success, the Denver Public Library should consider its newest ideaLAB makerspace at the Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales Branch Library an accomplishment. In fact, the lab is keeping customers in stitches. Literally.
The library opened the new community space at a special ceremony on Tuesday, Oct. 30. Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock, City Councilman Paul Lopez and City Librarian Michelle Jeske were on hand to cut the ribbon and talk about the importance of makerspaces.
“People often ask me, ‘what is a makerspace?’ Is it just a lot of fancy equipment? No. A makerspace is a community,” Jeske said. “People learning and building relationships through making things together. The tools just help that happen.”
And boy does the lab have tools. Each ideaLAB--this new addition makes the sixth in the library’s lineup--uses community input to shape the technology and tools for the labs. West Denver neighbors guided the visioning for the project and the voice was clear: the lab should have a focus on fabric arts.
“We talked with community groups, businesses and neighborhood organizations,” Jeske explained. “They wanted space for working on sewing projects together which gives them time to meet their neighbors, create wonderful projects and learn from one another.”
The lab features sewing machines, a quilting machine, tools for knitting and crocheting, and even a standing loom to make fabric. But beyond the technology, new and old, an even greater resource fills the new lab—library staff.
“The assistants who run these labs have a wealth of knowledge that they love to share. They do an amazing job helping people understand how to do just about anything,” a smiling Jeske told the crowd.
Making things is the theme of the ideaLABs and customers across Denver have taken advantage of the resource. Nate Stone, who helps build the labs and create curriculum for programs beams when he talks about the ways people use the labs.
“We’ve seen customers build websites and games. We’ve witnessed people record albums, music and podcasts. We’ve watched videos people have made and we’ve seen people fix and mend items that are near and dear to their hearts.”
Maybe the best part of the new community makerspace is the cost: there is none. As with all of its other services, access to the lab is free and customers don’t even need a library card to take advantage. For a full description of the equipment available as well as a schedule of programs, visit the library’s website.
Awesome!! Can't wait to visit to see all the great stuff! Looks like there's even a spinning wheel!
This space is bound to become an enduring city treasure. Kudos to the library for continuously looking for new ways to please the people of Denver. HOMAGO!
What hours is the sewing area open for use? I am an experienced sewer/knitter with my own space to work, but thought I might to able to be helpful to others. Jane F.