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What is a makerspace? You've no doubt heard this word more than a few times over the past several years. Makerspaces are collaborative spaces where people gather to get creative with DIY projects, invent, and share ideas. The idea of a communal creative space has only gained momentum and has become increasingly popular over the years- and it shows no signs of slowing down.

Libraries, originally designed to serve the local community by providing something that individuals didn't otherwise have access to and couldn't afford to acquire on their own, are a natural selection for providing such a space. Libraries have long been recognized as community leaders in providing participatory learning experiences. Portage County District Library (PCDL) has created its own makerspace, a place where people can gather to create, invent, and learn. Empowering them to become creators, not just consumers.

PCDL provides access to a diverse range of tools and technologies. PCDL, along with many other public libraries across the nation, are leveraging its content expertise and role as trusted community organizations to support the development of 21st century skills. Skills such as creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration, which are essential for the development of a competitive workforce and community engagement.

Located at PCDL's Garrettsville Library, and available periodically throughout the year, the PCDL makerspace provides tools for a variety of DIY disciplines including quilting, jewelry design, scrapbooking, video game development, and more. To learn more about PCDL's makerspace and its upcoming availability, call 330-527-4378, or visit the Upcoming Events Calendar.

If you are interested in learning more, here are a few links to some informative articles on library makerspaces:

American Libraries Magazine: Manufacturing Makerspaces

American Library Association (ALA): Maker Movement

The Atlantic Magazine: How Libraries Are Becoming Modern Makerspaces

Library Journal's The Digital Shift: The Makings of Maker Spaces, Part 1: Space for Creation, Not Just Consumption

Make Magazine: Library Makerspaces: Bringing Access to Knowledge in a Whole New Way

Places Journal: Makerspace: Towards a New Civic Infrastructure

The Unquiet Librarian: Makerspaces, Participatory Learning, and Libraries