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Feb. 5, 2018

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The Laurier Library has is pleased to announce Maker Mondays, a new series of meet-ups in its beta makerspace facility located in the Waterloo campus Library.

Every Monday from 1-4:30 p.m., Laurier students, staff, faculty and friends are invited to drop by the nascent makerspace, located on the main floor of the Library building, to chat with us about maker culture and to do some hands-on tinkering with our 3D printer, sewing machine, and other cool tools and gadgetry.

“Bring your projects, ideas, questions and curiosity to this unstructured meet-up, which is the heartbeat of the effort. If you can't make it this week, come next week,” said Darin White, the Library’s communications and cultural programming associate and its resident maker-at-large.

The makerspace – funded in part by a generous contribution from Laurier’s Student Life Levy – is accessible to students, staff, faculty and members of the broader community. The Library is developing the space using an “open beta” approach, in which facilities and programs are being designed iteratively through a process of engagement with the community. The team is taking the same consultative approach to naming the space, and is currently soliciting suggestions.

“The feedback we hear from visitors at Maker Mondays will help guide the continued evolution of the space,” said Nick Dinka, director of cultural programming for the Library. “This will give us the opportunity develop a facility that is truly aligned with the interests and needs of students and the priorities of the university.”

The Library makerspace is one of several such facilities popping up on Laurier campuses, most of which are geared to specific faculties or departments.

“The Library is a pan-university space with some of the longest opening hours on campus,” said Associate University Librarian Gordon Bertrand. “As such, we see the Library makerspace as a key node in the evolving constellation of makerspaces around the university – as a sort of general practitioner, which can refer users along to more specialized partners as required.”

A makerspace is a place in which people with shared interests in making things – notably in computing or technology and also in creative areas such as arts and crafts, clothing design, instrument building and book binding – can gather to work on projects while sharing ideas, equipment and knowledge.

“The most frequently asked question, to which I almost always answer ‘Yes,’ is ‘Can we do this?’” said White. “Questions like ‘Can we try to fix my camera here?’ Yes. ‘Can I learn to sew my laptop sleeve?’ Yes. ‘Can I 3D design and print a new frame for my quadcopter’? Yes. ‘Can we figure out how to drive a motor from my Raspberry Pi?’ Yes. ‘Can we do some photography workshops?’ Yes.”

To learn more about this emerging facility and/or to suggest a name for the space, drop by a Maker Monday session or contact Darin White at dawhite@wlu.ca or 519.884.0710 x4973.

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