The Mobile Maker Lab will make its first visit of the New Year at Norman Public Library West on Wednesday and will remain on site through Saturday.
Mobile Studios bring the tools they need to each location in the Pioneer Library System, giving library patrons hands-on training in craft making.
On Wednesday, mobile maker outreach specialist Tanner Chambers dropped the van and set up shop in the library at 300 Norman Center Court, encouraging the public to be creative and try something new. urged.
The four stations include a laser cutter/engraver, vinyl cutter, 3D printer and embroidery machine. The exhibit also includes a laptop with software that helps locals use or create templates for various machines.
In case patrons had to wait at the machine, Chambers brought activities and LEGO to help pass the time.
According to Chambers, this month marks the start of the lab’s second year.
“There are 12 branches and 12 months in a year,” he said. “He goes to each branch for a week and provides makerspaces to communities that don’t have one.”
For the Norman Central Library, which has an elaborate maker space, Chambers will set up a lab to complement what’s already on offer.
Jennifer Fourcade, Community Engagement Manager for Pioneer Library System, attended the opening Wednesday and said the Mobile Maker Lab has improved over last year.
“We did it last year and it was a terrific success. We can really reach out to people who want to do a tour of each branch across the system,” said Fourcade.
Norman West Library branch manager Mike Pierson said he hopes the Maker Mobile Lab will attract new patrons.
“The goal is to get more people to come and play with what’s there,” Pearson said. “Our branch is devoid of all these disposables.”
According to Chambers, the technology provided by the Mobile Maker Lab is beyond what many Norman residents can afford. Chambers said the program will benefit the community by giving individuals the tools to learn practical skills.
“We are introducing technology that the community has probably never seen before,” he said. “They can use machines that they probably wouldn’t be able to afford.”
Norman residents may be able to find technology elsewhere, but the library system may not have the same kind of resources as Blanchard, MacLeod, Newcastle, Noble, Purcell, Shawnee, Tecumseh, etc. We also serve some rural locations.
Those who can afford this type of technology can also benefit from the Mobile Maker Lab.
“Even if you can afford it, you’ll want to test drive a brand new car before you buy it,” Chambers said. “So people can try before they go out and buy a bigger one.”
Pioneer Library System has not announced the rest of the Mobile Maker Lab tour. After Saturday, however, the van packs up and doesn’t return to Norman until the summer, visiting the Norman Public Library East, 3051 E. Alameda Street.
In November, we will open a store at Norman Public Library Central, 103 W. Acres St.
“November is a great time to make holiday gifts,” says Chambers. “We’re there to expand the maker space for the month.”
Fourcade said the service is important because it helps individuals, including young people, acquire practical skills.
“This is a great introduction to all these new technologies that our customers may not see or have in their daily lives,” she said. “A really cool introduction to these cool tools and technologies.”
Mobile Maker Lab is available from 10am to 2pm. For upcoming outages, follow the Pioneer Library System Facebook page or visit pioneerlibrarysystem.org.