Happy Labor Day weekend from your friends at the Delaware County District Library. As a reminder, all locations will be closed this Monday, Sept. 2, to allow our staff a day off to celebrate and rest with their friends and family.
This week, the library’s official makerspace, called the Maker Annex, began its regular hours during a “soft” grand opening. If you’re not familiar with the makerspace trend in libraries, the American Library Association defines it quite simply as “a technological leap past library knitting and quilting circles, where patrons and experts come together to learn new techniques and train others in a skill.”
The association elaborates further to say, “The new tools are a lot flashier, and certainly more expensive than a needle and thread. The cost factor is what makes a makerspace so appealing to library visitors — what one person cannot afford to purchase for occasional use, the library can buy and share with the community.”
The Maker Annex is located in Room 210 of the Willis Education Center on West William Street, as a collaboration with the United Way of Delaware County’s Strengthening Families program. The facility has open lab hours Monday through Thursday on a rotating schedule, and then monthly classes and learning opportunities.
Just as the American Library Association describes makerspaces, the point of the Delaware Library’s Maker Annex is to provide our community with equipment like a 3D printer, vinyl cutter, laser cutter, button makers, sewing machines, and computers equipped with top of the industry software for illustration, design and creation.
The Maker Annex will freely offer the equipment and patrons using it will only be charged a small fee to cover the cost of the materials used for objects printed or crafted. For example, vinyl prints will amount to about five cents per square inch, and buttons are a mere 10 cents each.
Stop in during any of our open lab hours to see the space and meet Kellen, our technology training specialist, who will be managing the Annex during its open hours.
You can design projects in the Annex or submit your pre-designed projects online at bit.ly/makerannex. Soon projects will be supported for submission through the Library’s newly redesigned website! More to come on that in the next week or two. In the meantime, I hope you stop by to say hi or take a tour of this new exciting addition to the Delaware Library family.
This week’s titles come from the Nature and Science genres, featuring authors who also chose to take a deep dive into STEM – perhaps even at their local libraries!
• “The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America” by Margaret O’Mara. Try an “accessible yet sophisticated chronicle” (New York Times) of Silicon Valley that spans seven decades and includes the U.S. military-industrial complex, Stanford University, the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965, and a sprawling cast of interesting characters.
• “Symphony in C: Carbon and the Evolution of (Almost) Everything” by Robert M. Hazen. This might be a title for you if you’re interested in a sweeping history of carbon, the basic yet multifaceted chemical element that’s essential to life as we know it. Structured like a symphony, this book unfolds in four parts inspired by the classic elements of earth, air, fire, and water.
• “Slime: How Algae Created Us, Plague Us, and Just Might Save Us” by Ruth Kassinger. Science writer Ruth Kassinger travels the world to learn about algae’s culinary uses, its role in everyday consumer products, and its potential as a renewable fuel. A surprising story that covers the 3.7 billion-year history of algae, “Earth’s authentic alchemists”: powered by sunlight and water, these organisms play a vital role in turning carbon dioxide into organic matter.
• “Underland: A Deep Time Journey” by Robert Macfarlane. Nature writer Robert Macfarlane embarks on a journey both literal and metaphorical, connecting real-world observations to representations of the underworld in mythology, art, and literature. He presents a lyrical and wide-ranging exploration of the world beneath our feet from tunnels and caves to catacombs and burial chambers to underground vaults and bunkers.
If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Nicole Fowles, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s web site at www.delawarelibrary.org or directly to Nicole at firstname.lastname@example.org. No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!