Calling all Makers! Learn, Connect, and Create with the MakerLab

The MakerLab is the Library’s maker space. It was made possible with a generous gift from the Friends of the Blackstone Library. The MakerLab includes a MakerBot Replicator 3D printer, Lulzbot Taz 5 3D printer, video camera and editing equipment, electronics kits, sewing machines, and more. The library’s MakerLab provides you with free access to tools, technology, and materials that allow you to learn new skills, connect with other makers and ideas, and create something of your very own.

The MakerLab is open to adults, teens, and children (with supervision). Some training is required prior to using the equipment. If you are interested in being part of our maker movement, please call Katy McNicol at 203.488.1441, ext 313 or send an email. We are looking for volunteer Mentors with technology skills (from sewing and soldering to photo/video editing and programming), people to train on the 3D printer, and help plan future programs using our equipment. Teens and adults are welcome!

What’s a Maker Space and Why is it at the Library?

The concept of maker spaces embraces the growing DIY and Maker Movements, which promote “learning through doing” in a social environment. There is a strong focus on using and learning practical skills and applying them creatively. Entrepreneurs can prototype their inventions using the computer and 3D printer. Teens can learn to solder and explore electronics and circuitry. Kids can learn and practice computer coding. Budding directors can use the green screen and video camera to produce their very own movie. With the MakerLab, participants have the opportunity to explore their imagination and creativity as they apply the principals of HOMAGO—Hanging Out, Messing Around, Geeking Out—it’s a great way to learn new things!

The Blackstone Library reflects the evolving needs and interests of our community. It’s our mission to provide essential access to information, resources, and unique shared experiences to help ensure Branford is an educated and enriched community. Acquiring basic technology skills is essential in the 21st century. Libraries are a logical place for the community to come together to learn and explore technology—new and old. The variety of tech tools available in the MakerLab means that everyone in Branford has the opportunity to get hands-on, participatory learning experiences!

What’s in the MakerLab?

The MakerLab is stocked with a variety of tools and devices to provide users with options for creation, innovation, and experiential learning.

  • MakerBot Replicator 5th Generation
  • Lulzbot Taz 5 3D Printer
  • Mac computer and 24″ monitor
  • Dell Laptops
  • Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Elements
  • Graphic Drawing Tablet
  • Panasonic Digital Video Camera
  • Nikon Digital Single Lens Reflex Camera (DSLR)
  • Canon Powershot Digital Camera
  • Green screen and studio lighting
  • Singer Sewing Machine
  • Electronics Toolkit, including soldering iron
  • Hand tool set
  • Launchpad and Launchkey Audio Controllers
  • Raspberry Pi & Arduino starter kits
  • Microphones and headphones

The MakerLab contents may change over time, as new technologies need to be explored—it’s all an evolving process!