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EPL selected as a founding member of the new Makerspaces collective

The Evanston Public Library has been named a founding member of the New Faces of Library Makerspaces project, a collaboration to build a diverse collective of library makerspaces to share ideas and grow makerspaces across the country.

Makerspaces can take a variety of forms, from special rooms with tools and materials to build and design, like the EPL’s 3D printer, to community events like Evanston’s annual Cardboard Carnival, a range of programming and designing game challenges. A makerspace can be any room in which people work with physical objects to design, construct and solve problems in order to create something new.

The New Faces of Library Makerspaces project aims to help makerspaces grow in libraries across the country.

As a founding member of the New Faces of Library Makerspaces, the Evanston Public Library will work with other founding members to define the vision for this new organization and develop the first platforms for interaction and sharing of resources.

Charter members will act as mentors to other libraries to build their capacities for developing community-centered maker programs. STEM Experiences Library Assistant Kennedy Joseph and Teen Engagement Coordinator Elacsha Madison will lead EPL’s contributions to the new collaboration.

The Evanston Public Library was selected from 31 applicants, and the founding member libraries were selected based on several criteria including geographic diversity, strong inter-library networks, advances in the judiciary, equality, diversity and inclusion initiatives, and types of maker programs that existed both before as well as were offered during the pandemic.

The EPL is proud to partner with the following libraries on this exciting new project:

Berryville Public Library, AR

Providence Public Library, RI

Pikes Peak Library District, CO

Cameron Public Library, MO

San Mateo County Libraries, CA

Greene County, Ohio Public Library

“Makerspaces teach students problem-solving skills, introduce them to the engineering process and can spark their interest in STEM areas in a fun environment,” said Renee Neumeier, Innovation and Digital Learning Manager at EPL. “We are very excited to be working with other libraries who are doing this work to share ideas and resources that can benefit our patrons as well as children across the country.”

For more information on makerspace programs and services from the Evanston Public Library, visit www.epl.org. More information about the New Faces of Makerspaces collective can be found at www.makersinthelibrary.org.

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