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From Concept to Reality: Library Makerspace is Taking Shape

Excitement is palpable as curious eyes look through plastic sheeting and the newly framed walls of the Makerspace under construction in the former computer lab in the library. A makerspace is a free community workspace that provides access to technology and tools. Kids, adults, and entrepreneurs will be able to create, experiment, and collaborate in a hands-on learning environment.

RCLF has already raised $562,000 towards construction and equipping of a Makerspace in the Downtown Library. Construction began in fall 2021 and a Sneak Preview will be held for RCLF supporters on Dec. 2, 2021 from 6 to 8 pm. (See invite on this page. RSVP requested.) A VIP Donor Reception for those who have contributed $1,000 and above will be held from 5:30 to 6:00 pm. A public grand opening is expected in January 2022!

Side-by-side images of Makerspace rendering and current construction progress. In the foreground of photo on the right you can see the structural beginnings of the podcast studio.

The generous support of the local community was instrumental in helping us initiate the construction phase of the project, and we are now completing fundraising for the last $50,000 needed to equip and furnish the space in time for our grand opening in January. Please help us reach our goal by purchasing an item from our Amazon Wish List.

We are grateful to the SAGA Foundation for their generous support of this community project.

“Having this innovative idea come to fruition as we exit the pandemic is perfect timing. We look forward to seeing the community come together to collaborate and create in this dynamic new setting.”

~David J. Bartoshuk President, SAGA Foundation

This Library Makerspace will be the only makerspace in southern San Mateo County to serve families with young children. A robust makerspace introduces children to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) and advances literacy and early learning, with special emphasis towards girls and minorities who are not equally represented in STEM careers. There is ample anecdotal evidence that making STEAM fun and engaging early through exposure to building, design, hands-on interaction with various materials, manipulation of tools, etc. helps children, especially girls, develop interest in STEM careers.

Makerspaces offer equipment, supplies, tools, software, and programming featuring open hours, classes, and workshops. Families and students are introduced to and may use equipment such as:

• Technology tools, including 3D printers, a laser cutter, digital design and modeling software, with opportunities to learn about robotics and electronics for the creation of signs, small toys, prototypes, etc.

• Sewing machines and hand crafting tools for the creation of masks, reusable bags, jewelry, scrapbooks, fiber arts, etc.

• Hand tools, including gardening tools, and art supplies for projects with leather, painting, sculpting, paper crafts, etc.

• (And for adults) Shared collaboration spaces, including easily reconfigurable workshop tables and seating, white boards, large screen monitors, a video conferencing/audio recording/podcasting space, and photography equipment.

Our Library Makerspace will provide community members with equitable access to technology and tools that are not readily accessible or affordable. Please join us in supporting the Library Makerspace by donating today. We look forward to creating, tinkering, and innovating with you!

Top 5 Benefits of a Makerspace:

1 Provides the opportunity to innovate

2 Creates real-world applications for classroom concepts

3 Teaches resilience & learning to take failure in stride

4 Exposes new audiences to maker opportunities

5 Helps build critical thinking & problem-solving skills

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