SIERRA VISTA, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Sierra Vista Public Library will soon offer patrons the chance to get hands-on experience in robotics, coding, 3D printing, and textile projects thanks to a $22,050 grant from the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records.
The grant provides funding for a mobile makerspace, which will be used primarily for programs focused on children and teens at the library and outreach opportunities at area schools and learning centers. It will provide area youth an opportunity to explore science, technology, engineering, and math concepts through hands-on applications and collaborative projects at no cost.
"The makerspace movement is taking hold in libraries across the country and we're thrilled to bring this opportunity to our community," Children's Librarian Sierra Baril says. "We opted for a mobile makerspace instead of a designated room so we can host programs in different sections of the library and also reach new people at area schools and organizations."
Baril plans to start a coding club at the library using the mobile makerspace equipment, which is divided into three themed carts. The coding cart is outfitted with Chromebooks and a coding curriculum. A tech cart will feature a 3D printer, 3D Doodler Pens, soldering irons, brush bot kits, and more. Finally, a textile cart will include a sock loom, round looms, sewing machines, knitting needles, and a few other surprises.
Librarians will be exploring ways to use these resources for some adult programs too, although the primary focus is on children in kindergarten through high school age. Baril expects to have everything in place to begin offering programs with the mobile makerspace in late July.
This grant was part of $800,000 awarded by the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records for library programs throughout the state last week. The grants were supported by federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.