On Wednesday, April 11, the American Library Association’s (ALA) Washington Office along with Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.Mex.), hosted “Digital Fab! Libraries Advance Entrepreneurship and Innovation” in honor of National Library Week. The event, which took place on Capitol Hill, showcased library makerspaces and the important technology and services they provide to patrons.
With help from the DCPL’s Fabrication Lab (Fab Lab) staff, guests were able to get a hands-on experience with 3D printers and other computer-enabled technologies. In addition, more than 50 public and academic libraries from across the nation submitted images of their makerspaces for display at the event to highlight the growing presence of library maker centers throughout the country.
Attended by congressional staff and supporters of community maker centers, the event included a brief program with remarks by ALA President Jim Neal, Rep. Ben Ray Luján, and DC Public Library (DCPL) Executive Director Richard Reyes-Gavilan. The purpose of the event was to help demonstrate the role of libraries in advancing STEM education and the maker economy and in providing public access to tools that are revolutionizing the manufacturing industry.
As Jim Neal said in his remarks, “Today’s libraries not only fuel the imagination, they propel innovation and entrepreneurship through new technology.”
We hope that the success of Digital Fab! will further the discussions with members of Congress and their staff about libraries as anchor institutions in their communities.
Do you have a makerspace in your library? Invite your representative to tour your facility. Need help arranging a meeting? Call the ALA Washington Office at (202) 628-8410 – we are here to help!
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- Library makerspaces come to Capitol Hill with Digital Fab! - April 18, 2018