New Makerspace Arrives at Fishers Library
Photographer: Brandy Hornback
Remember when the library was a place for scholars to work on projects, spread out with their books and materials and have access to resources they didn’t have at home? It is once again thanks to the Ignite Studio a 15,000 square foot makerspace located in the basement of the Fishers library.
A makerspace is a new trend in education where people with shared interests come together in order to share ideas, knowledge and work on projects. While the Ignite Studio is an arts-focused makerspace, others around the country are focused on science and other disciplines.
“The Ignite Studio came out of focus groups in the community that expressed an overwhelming desire to have more opportunity for folks to explore their creative side, complete arts-related academic projects, dabble in new interests and teach others,” says Katelyn Coyne, the Ignite Studio manager at Hamilton East Public Library.
The Ignite Studio has it all including both clean and messy areas in which to spread out and work, cleaning supplies that can be used by patrons, long-term storage space that can be checked out just like a library book as well as four digital media labs. The studio also has a fabrication lab with two 3D printers, an engraver and a laser cutter that can be used by patrons 16 and older. Guests must be certified before using the specialized equipment, and the library plans to offer training sessions periodically to help people familiarize themselves with the technology so that it can be used appropriately.
“I am really excited that the library decided to take on this challenge, which is a natural evolution of library services and a way to help the brick and mortar building continue to have relevance in the community,” Coyne says.
One of the hallmarks of the Ignite Studio are the plastic totes and other supplies (such as sewing machines) that can be checked out and used during an Ignite session. The plastic totes contain all the supplies one might need to discover a new area of interest or enjoy a favorite one that you may not have the room at home to pursue.
“We do not offer classes in these specific activities, but our totes include books, supplies and suggested projects so that you can explore an interest without having to make a big investment,” Coyne says.
For example, someone who is interested in oil pastels can check out a tote, which contains a wide range of chalk-like pastels, the specific type of paper geared for the medium and a book that outlines a few techniques one can try out during their two-hour session.
“Ignite had its soft opening on June 25 before our grand opening on July 21 and so far, the reception has been very positive,” Coyne says. “I think people are very surprised by the concept, and we’ve been working hard to help people understand the intended use of the space and what can be accomplished there.”
Coyne says that as patrons have toured the new makerspace, their jaws drop at the possibilities, and she expects those possibilities will change as the Ignite Studio grows and evolves over time.
“We want to be a user organized space so that we respond to the needs of those who use the studio to complete their work and discover new passions,” she says. “It’s the natural progression of what a library can be.”
For more information on the Ignite Studio, visit hepl.lib.in.us/ignite. The Hamilton East Public Library in Fishers is located at 5 Municipal Dr or give them a call at 317-579-0300.