By Joy Landry
Last year, my co-workers and I were brainstorming ideas to create our annual recycling awards out of reused materials. We all loved the idea of purchasing tiles from the ReStore, but we weren’t certain where to have them engraved. Someone suggested the MakerSpace, located at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County’s (PLCHC) Main Library in downtown Cincinnati. The library staff gave us a tour and answered our many questions about their engraving machine. We had our solution – handcrafted awards made from reused materials on a shoe-string budget.
MakerSpaces are an emerging trend in libraries as they continue to evolve with the digital age while providing the most recent technical resources to their patrons. MakerSpaces are community areas with tools such as design software, manufacturing equipment, and craft machines.
The MakerSpace may be the perfect solution for non-profits and small business public relations professionals who do not have the budget to support expensive software and print projects, yet are DIY-savvy. The Main Library's MakerSpace features a host of tools and software that may benefit PR pros: Adobe Creative Suite software, video and audio editing software, a video recording studio with green screen, and an audio recording booth. These are just a few of the incredible resources offered at the MakerSpace. Oftentimes, the use of the equipment is free; you just need to bring your own supplies, media, or flashdrive.
A word of caution -- there is a high demand for some MakerSpace equipment, especially the vinyl printer and the engraving machine. To ensure time with these stations, schedule an appointment in advance.
In addition to the large MakerSpace located at the Main Library, smaller MakerSpaces are located at the Reading and St. Bernard branches. Several branches offer “tech centers” that include Apple computers with Adobe Creative Suite.
Take advantage of our library system and its many resources!