Makerspaces, maker labs, or fab labs go by many names and are a growing presence in academic libraries. West Library has been working to get a makerspace since 2014 and is thrilled to have achieved funding for this exciting project. Caitlin Rookey, digital initiatives librarian, heads the Library Makerspace Committee leading Dennis Miles, Nancy Edge, and Elizabeth A. M. Howard.
To achieve this grant, the committee researched Texas Wesleyan's peer institutions, makerspaces in academic and local communities, attended local makers conferences, and surveyed our faculty and student body to determine the equipment needs for our campus. Once the need was determined, the search for the right granting body and equipment began. All of this hard work resulted in the West Library's Makers Committee successfully bringing this grant to Texas Wesleyan University.
"Library makerspaces bring the campus community together to inspire cross-disciplinary interaction and research," Elizabeth A. M. Howard, director of Eunice and James L. West Library, said. "We are excited to be able to offer hands-on learning experiences in the Library that will benefit our students in today's job market."
The Makerspace is a place designed to break down silos among the campus stakeholders and bring the campus together. Usage plans for this space include a creative space for our student organizations, outreach to faculty for implementation in their class syllabus, community member outreach, as well as student and staff experiential learning.
Equipment coming to the makers lab will include 3D printers, 3D Scanner, Padcaster studio, vinyl cutter, laser cutter, and screen printer. The anticipated opening is in the spring. There will be training and safety courses required in order to use the equipment and the new space will be open by appointment only.
This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act. (2019).