Broken Bow Library to Host Makerspace Open House

BROKEN BOW—An open house will be held at the Broken Bow Public Library (626 S D St, Broken Bow, NE 68822) on Wednesday, May 30 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. to showcase the Library Innovation Studios Makerspace.

All are invited to stop by the library for live demonstrations of the equipment and see what you can make on each machine. Sign-up sheets for future trainings on the machines will also be available. Age limits do apply.

The Makerspace equipment consists of a Heat Press/Printers, Embroidery/Sewing Machine, Laser Cutter, 3D Printer, Vinyl Printer, CNC Router, Music Recording Kit, Camera/Video with Green Screen, Laminator, Button Maker, and much more.

Last August the library was notified by the Nebraska Library Commission that Broken Bow would be one of the first thirteen libraries to host the Innovation Studio Project, also known as a makerspace. The project is a collaborative effort between the Library Commission, UNL Extension, UNL Nebraska Innovation Studio, and Regional Library Systems and is funded by a $530,732 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Equipment was installed April 24 and numerous hours were spent training staff and volunteers. The Makerspace will be at the Broken Bow Public Library through September 7. Assistant Library Director Megan Svoboda and intern Brenna Slagle said Wednesday’s open house is a chance for people to see the possibilities available to them for making gifts and keepsakes for friends or family.

“It’s kind of the show and tell and a big opening to let everyone see the exciting new tools and fun things we have here at the library for them to try out,” Svoboda said.

“[It’s a] great opportunity. It’s a lot of equipment that a lot of people don’t have readily available to them so it’s a nice chance to come in and try it out for not very much money, using the machines for free,” Slagle said.

The makerspace will be used to support community engagement and participatory learning experiences by providing access to technological and innovative learning tools that might not be readily accessible. Library Innovation Studios Project Manager JoAnn McManus said it is free to use the machines and consumable materials are available for purchase.

Small/rural communities can sign up until July to bring the makerspace to their area. The project is expected to stimulate creativity, innovation, and the exchange of ideas to facilitate entrepreneurship, skills development, and local economic development.

“The biggest benefit is the potential for maybe starting a business and also for communities to experience what a makerspace can do for their communities. It’s totally free to come in and use the equipment,” McManus said.

Plan to stop by the Open House on Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. and experience what the Library Innovation Studio has to offer!