Library opens innovator Makerspace

When it comes to libraries, knowledge acquisition goes far beyond students flipping through books.

A new resource available at Brock University means students can learn hands-on about the latest technology from 3D printing to the world of virtually reality.

The James A. Gibson library’s Makerspace officially opened Monday with staff and students trying out the wide variety of creative technology tools now available to them.

The space, located in ST 226, includes multiple 3D printers, an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, an XY Plotter, video and audio recording equipment and other equipment. All of it is available for students, staff and faculty to learn on and use for free.

Jonathan Younker, Head of Library Systems and Technology, says it’s a lot of modern devices squeezed into a small space.

“There’s a lot there. We recognize not every student is going to use every piece of equipment, but we want to make that connection with any student,” he says. “It’s like digital literacy. We want to introduce people to certain concepts and provide the resources. We want to get people started and what they do with it then is up to them.”

University Librarian Mark Robertson said this is an extension of other library resource offerings.

“Libraries have always been about facilitating knowledge production and the forms of knowledge production are changing and diversifying,” he says. “It’s a matter of bringing in the tools to allow people to engage in inquiry not just through the printed word or electronic information, but also through the technologies.

“It allows people to ask questions and think through new problems. So it’s part of learning, part of innovation and part of research.”

For more information about the Makerspace, contact Tabitha Lewis at tlewis3@brocku.ca.


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