For those unfamiliar with the term, a Makerspace is an intentionally created place for people to explore their curiosity and creativity with the use of shared equipment. Our Makerspace is starting out with a few crafty items and the intention to add a wider range of machines and tools as it gains popularity with the on-campus community.
Currently, the star of our Makerspace is a Cricut Explore 3 machine, which is perfect for folks who enjoy paper crafting and do-it-yourself projects. According to the company’s website, with the Cricut smart cutting machine you can make “vinyl decals, stickers, cards, and T-shirts… No design experience required.” Anything you can think of can probably be cut out, printed, scored, or folded into existence. The Library also provides access to the compatible software, instructional resources, and brand-name materials for purchase if you do not bring your own. There is information about different ways to use the machine, including myriad online resources that offer ideas and free templates. When you book the Makerspace, there is an easy booking process on our website and a library staff member will be available to help at all times during your appointment.
In addition to the Cricut, we also have a small button maker, a large button maker, and a laminator. As with the Cricut supplies, the Library offers low-cost materials for purchase that are compatible with each of these pieces of equipment.
We did a soft launch of our Makerspace with a Cricut demonstration during National Library Week in April 2023, and we are excited to expand the Makerspace in the near future as more space within the library becomes available. For now, everything is stored in an attractive metal cabinet on wheels that can be moved around the library as needed. When someone reserves the Makerspace cart, we set them up in an available room, review our policies, provide a laptop with the needed software, and remain on-hand to field questions and offer suggestions. If you are interested in learning more about the Bellevue University Library’s Makerspace, you can find information on our website or reach out to library staff. We are excited to see what you make!
Originally posted in the Freeman/Lozier Library’s quarterly newsletter, More Than Books, V. 26 No. 4, Fall 2023.