XENIA — A technological literacy lab is being developed for the Greene County Public Library location in Xenia.
According to library spokesman Ryan Ireland, the room, which has a working title of “Greene_space,” will be home to several “maker” technologies, including a 3D printer, the library’s recently unveiled PancakeBot, professional design software, a stop animation kit, drafting technologies like mills, as well as more traditional technologies like sewing machines, button makers and Ellison die machines.
According to Ireland, the space will be “malleable,” so that it can be home to future technologies as well.
“It’s going to be a space devoted to looking at what the library can do in terms of developing that technological literacy,” Ireland said. “…There are all different types of literacy. Books are great for talking about alphabetic literacy, reading literacy, which is of paramount importance, but we also need to be teaching literacy skills in terms of technology and in terms of computer literacy.”
According to Greene County Public Library Executive Director Karl Colón, the lab will exist to help the public to acquire those new literacies to contribute in growing fields like biomedical technology.
“Starting a couple years ago, we saw that this new literacy, this designer/inventor literacy, which is something that has a powerful history here in the Miami Valley – I mean, we invented the airplane – … was going to become critical,” Colón said. “It’s already critical when you talk to the employers around the county.”
No project cost estimates were immediately available, but according to Colón, the lab won’t be a “budget buster.”
“I’m excited at the idea that the Miami Valley will once again be where people turn to have things invented,” Colón said. “It is worth a strong investment.”
The lab will be modeled after the Cincinnati Public Library’s “MakerSpace,” which has a “Book Espresso Machine” that can turn a digital manuscript into a bound book; digital creation stations with specialized software; a 3D printer; a laser cutter/engraver; and other technology stations.
According to Ireland, the space, which will be located on the second floor of the Xenia Community Library, will be renovated over the summer before a “late-August or early-September” opening.