Library patrons can now use a 3-D printer, multimedia studio, breakthrough technology and more.

Post Date: 01/11/2018 12:35 PM

 Clearwater leads the way in innovation and modernization of the public library system in Pinellas County with the opening of the Clearwater MakerSpaces. Patrons can not only visit the Clearwater Main Library for research or reading time, but also can learn and use cutting edge technology such as 3-D printers, a laser engraver, digital production equipment, and more. 

On Jan. 27 from noon-4:00 p.m., the Clearwater Public Library System will host the grand opening and ribbon cutting of Studios@Main, four floors of comprehensive MakerSpaces that are dedicated to free, hands-on, experiential learning experiences at the Clearwater Main Library, 100 N. Osceola Ave. A ribbon cutting will take place at 12:30 p.m. followed by an opportunity for guests to tour each floor.

The first floor houses the Creation Studio, where patrons can create, design and craft to their heart’s content. It includes many resourceful tools such as a laser engraver, sewing machines, a digital die-cut printer and a multitude of craft supplies. Ongoing classes and workshops allow guests to make anything from a painting to a shower steamer or a backpack.

The children’s zone on the second floor is home to the Discovery Studio of Creative Learning, where kids can play and experiment with science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM). With the increasing educational interest in STEAM, the Discovery Studio allows children to use gadgets such as a microscope with a built-in digital camera, kid-friendly gizmos that can be used to build circuit boards for alarms, motors, and more, robots that teach kids how to code, and an entire Lego wall. The space is intended for those between the ages of 7-12. However, younger children below the recommended age range may use materials with parental assistance.

The third floor houses the Innovation Studio of Technology and Business where participants can explore and acquire new skills like designing and printing 3-D objects, learning about circuitry and robotics, and designing and publishing websites. The studio also will hold business workshops and courses for entrepreneurs and local makers. The Multimedia Studio, also located on the third floor, allows beginners and experts alike to produce quality audio and video content with tools such as a fully equipped studio with cameras, lighting, a green screen, iMac computers, full Adobe Creative Cloud suite and music recording software. 

Looking to digitize your old family pictures and video? The Heritage Studio of Community Memory, which resides on the fourth floor, offers equipment and support for digitizing a variety of vintage images, video and audio. Highlights include a photo negative scanner, vinyl LP to digital converter, VHS to DVD recorder and a floppy disk reader. The floor is also home to extensive collections of local Florida history and genealogy resources to help patrons learn about their past.

Clearwater MakerSpaces are available to all Pinellas Public Library Cooperative card-holders, including Dunedin, Largo, Safety Harbor and St. Petersburg libraries. The library plans to implement more MakerSpaces at other locations in order to meet community needs and interests.

For more information and to browse the collection, visit the MakerSpaces website at myclearwaterlibrary.com/learn/maker-studios, or call (727) 562-4970.