EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—Public libraries across the country are transforming--in a good way. The services that modern libraries offer are more than just books and reference help. East Brunswick Public Library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center) is no exception.
To meet the needs of a community that wants more STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) education and programming, East Brunswick Public Library has opened its new EB Create makerspace.
"Libraries across the country have noticed that their customers are seeking more active learning and access to technology," said Jennifer Podolsky, East Brunswick Public Library Director. "Our town is no different."
A makerspace is a dedicated area that encourages members of the community to collaborate on hands-on projects. EB Create features a variety of art, crafting and technology equipment that library customers can use. The room also has several computers stations dedicated for graphic design and video editing, as well as a recording studio space.
"Our staff has been holding many different programs in EB Create, ranging from building robots out of LEGO Mindstorms kits to more advanced painting classes," Podolsky said. "Seeing how interested our customers are in attending these programs is extremely encouraging, especially since we are connecting with several different age groups."
The library plans is also launching a series of lendable kits, allowing customers to borrow items from the makerspace. These items will be available to the public at the end of February.
"Our customers will soon be able to check out items from the makerspace so that they can work on projects from home," she added. "Many of our customers borrow books before they go on vacation. Now we can offer them the opportunity to borrow a GoPro video camera or even a telescope. EB Create really opens up a whole world of possibilities to our customers."
EB Create will have open hours for the community to use the space and the equipment to work on projects at the library.
Information about EB Create can be found online at www.ebpl.org/ebcreate.