The Irving Public Library strives to provide exciting and innovative programs and services to the community. With this in mind, the Irving Library applied and has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Texas State Library and Archives Commission to transform its digital media labs into complete makerspaces at two locations, South Irving Library and Valley Ranch Library. The multi-year project is designed to help residents learn 21st century job skills, enable patrons to explore their creativity, and to promote community building and collaboration. During this first grant year, the library will build the foundation for a “maker movement” within the city by purchasing equipment, developing curriculum, training our library staff to use the technology, opening the makerspaces to the public, and beginning basic programs and activities.
In late 2019, residents may remember receiving a survey from the library to better understand the need for makerspaces in the community. The response was overwhelming with nearly 1,200 sending in feedback and excited comments! Irving Library intends to make their makerspaces some of the best in the metroplex with plenty of space to work, and a variety of fun tools and state-of-the-art equipment. Planned purchases include new 3D printers, a laser etcher, sewing machines, a Cricut smart cutting machine, and computers with the latest graphics software.
Plans are to open the new makerspaces in April 2021. Be on the lookout for future trainings and community activities. This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (Grant #LS‐246193‐OLS‐20)* to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act. (2021)