Ottawa’s First Fully Public Makerspace – Coming Soon!

Posted: November 8, 2013 in Librarianship
Tags: , , , , ,

makerspace intellectual

By spring 2014, the Ottawa Public Library will have its very own public makerspace complete with 3D printers, a laser cutter, a video/photo stage with a green screen and computer pods complete with the latest in video, photo and music editing software. The maker movement has been growing at an increasingly rapid pace and there are already many private or membership based makerspaces popping up in Ottawa. Located in the former circulation workroom at the Nepean Centrepointe branch, OPL’s makerspace will be the first and only fully public making facility in Ottawa. Members of the public will have a safe, comfortable space to collaborate, learn and create unique digital and physical artistic works. This new makerspace will be called Imagine Space.

The Library is pleased to announce that they are working with the Unites States Embassy to bring this space to life. As part of the agreement, the U.S. Embassy has provided funds to purchase equipment, tools, and computers, as well as funding for room preparation and programming. OPL will provide a space and funding for staff to manage and oversee the activities and programs of the makerspace. The agreement is for a one-year pilot.

But… what is a makerspace without people? Besides cool new technology, OPL’s space will feature a variety of programming, seminars and workshops. OPL hopes to recruit a pool of community mentors with expertise in areas such as 3D printing, video and music editing, photography, electronics, robotics, programming, physical arts, crafts, human-computer interaction, video game design, self-publishing and hobbies of every stripe. Much in the same way the Library hosts authors for book readings, our maker space will invite engineers and artists to demonstrate circuit board building or video editing.

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Comments
  1. Darcy Whyte says:

    Is there any references at the OPL site?

  2. Janice Flahiff says:

    Thank you for the post. Will stay tuned.
    Guess my only concern with 3d printing are possible health risks from particle emissions.
    However, I am going to trust that proper ventilation will be installed.
    http://www.theverge.com/2013/7/24/4552132/home-3d-printers-potential-health-risks?utm_source=buffer&utm_campaign=Buffer&utm_content=buffer5c901&utm_medium=twitter

    • Thanks Janice. Ventilation, along with other health and safety issues (eyewash stations for instance), have to be part of the overall plan. Thanks for that article – I’ll give it a read this afternoon.

  3. Mark, this is indeed exciting news and I congratulate you and all those involved in the development of this initiative at the Ottawa Public Library for getting the makerspace off the ground! I hope to see this pilot succeed and create a blueprint for other OPL branches to establish library makerspaces.

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