The journey to bringing the John F. Germany Library makerspace to life – a space now known as The Hive – has been a bumpy and sometimes complicated one, as new and untried journeys can be. It can be hard to create something no one’s seen before, in an institutional environment unaccustomed to the type of change being initiated. It takes courage, vision, patience, collaboration and cooperation on all sides to step out of comfort zones, out of old ways of doing and being – especially when those ways of doing and being are as beloved as a library.
Creating new things is disruptive – whether it involves tectonic plate movement or change in personal habits. But most will agree that an inability to change creates, at minimum, stagnation and diminished value and, at worst, death. For libraries, which have always worked hard to stay relevant, moving from reading space to maker space is a particularly big step that involves large scale organizational change and engagement at the community level to make it all come together.
John F. Germany Library, with its amazing forward-looking staff, Friends and county administration, has taken that big step with grace, warmth, and professionalism, and a healthy dose of good humor. And in the process, it’s taken a huge and hugely underutilized space, and turned it into a creative and increasingly active and energetic space that beautifully complements and enhances traditional library use.
It’s one thing to enter hallowed halls filled with books, and something else entirely to enter into spacious rooms full of tools, and art materials, and audio and video equipment and 3D printers, and something even more powerful to enter into a building that has both those opportunities in one place.
We’re honored to have had a key role in the creation of this beautiful space, delighted to see it coming to life, and warmed to know the wonderful librarians who are actually making the Hive come alive, not only staffing it, but who are creatively active in it as well, as is clearly evident in their promo video below, for the Hive’s weekly 3D Printing Open Labs.
If you haven’t been to the Hive yet, check it out (get it? “Check it out”?) on some Maker Monday or take a class. If you want to see more maker style programming and creative spaces at your library – let your librarians know!
Keep Making it Forward!