IMG_20151217_104036 The Land O’Lakes Branch Library threw an appropriately grand party December 17, celebrating the Grand Opening of the Foundry, Pasco County’s first library makerspace. The event was well attended by Pasco County government leaders, Economic Development Council representatives, members of the Chamber of Commerce, Friends of the Library, local business leaders, and patrons, all proud to cut the ribbon for this small space making enormous impact.

We’ve worked with several libraries now on the development of IMG_20151217_101548makerspaces and creative programming, including Land O’Lakes Branch Library, and believe the Foundry, at just 500 sq. ft., is an exceptional model of immensely thoughtful implementation and community driven innovation.

From the beginning, Land O’Lakes Library took into serious consideration our recommendations for flexibility and adaptability, building on community support, thoughtful space design, and the results of several focus IMG_20151217_102404groups we led at the Library.

The Pasco County Library System is notable for several characteristics that position it for success:

  • Strong community support based on a long tradition of engaging community programs and events;
  • Collaborative culture between library staff, community agencies and organizations and patrons;
  • A history of calculated and insightful risk taking as a result of thorough research and knowledge base development and listening to stakeholders;
  • Visionary library leadership that frees staff from fear of failure, and inspires a willingness to IMG_20151217_104023try new things, discard what doesn’t work and move forward.

The results of this dedication to community driven innovation is a community gem that promises to serve the residents of Land O’Lakes and Pasco County in unprecedented ways, providing accessible, inclusive and exciting new avenues of creativity, hands on learning, 21st century skills development and personal fulfillment.

IMG_20151217_104912Plans are already underway for makerspaces and related creative programming at other branch libraries in Pasco County, and residents can feel confident that their community leaders understand the current and future impact of these spaces on economic development and community enhancement.

The Foundry brings home with beautiful clarity the fact that makerspaces are less about physical space than they are about the people who energize that space.IMG_20151217_103908

We’re so proud to have played a part in the creation of the Foundry, and look forward to seeing it grow and adapt to the changing needs and interests of library patrons and Land O’Lakes residents.

Congratulations to Land O’Lakes Library and Pasco County, Florida for letting your light shine and providing such a great model of community driven innovation and IMG_20151217_121857inspiration!