MakerSpace | FAQ

FAQs - MAKERSPACE

What is a MakerSpace? 
The MakerSpace in The Great Hall is a place for people to connect and create. The concept originated from the realization that the Library should provide experiences that take people from imagination to actual production.  The Maker movement is a response to a lengthy period of history in which innovation and invention were reserved for specialists. As more individuals take on the role of inventor, Maker Faires™ and Spaces have appeared all over the country and the world. The Maker movement is also regarded as a potential economic engine as more entrepreneurs emerge and thrive.

Why is the Library doing this?
Libraries have always adapted to meet the needs of the people they serve.  The Westport Library has been evolving into a community hub for many different kinds of learning experiences, and some time ago the concept of providing space for creation and production took hold.  Members of the community proposed the idea of a Maker Faire, and the result was Connecticut's first Mini Maker Faire in the spring of 2012, which attracted over 2,200 people, and the second one last spring which brought over 4,000. The development of the MakerSpace is a natural continuation of a clear interest in the Maker movement.  The MakerSpace is where people can create content as well as also consume it--an incubator for ideas and entrepreneurship.

Is the space open to anyone to observe?
You can observe from outside the space through the openings of the structure or enter and take a look around.

How do I get to use the 3D printer?

At this time we have 4 3D printers and the public's demand for use is growing. This process will help to ensure that those wanting to use the printer at least once will have the opportunity.

Schedule an appointment with a 3D printer coach. Check the online calendar for the current schedule of 3D printer coaches. The majority of these coaches are volunteers. Please select at least 2 days and times that you are able to come for training and send an email to wlmakerspacereservations [at] gmail [dot] com for an appointment. (In most cases TWO 1 hour training sessions are required.  Once the coach feels you are aware of how the 3D printer functions and how to solve problems when they occur, you can schedule a 2 hour session on the printer while a coach is there.  Future times will be dependent upon the availability of printers.)

Cost: Westport residents do not pay to use 3D printing services. Non-residents pay $10 an hour for the training (2 sessions on different days are required). Non-residents pay $20 an hour to use the 3D printers, and may book in 2-hour blocks.

Can I bring my child in a stroller?
Strollers cannot be accommodated in this space. They may be parked outside of that area.

Can my babysitter and/or nanny go into the MakerSpace with my child?
The babysitter and/or nanny must fill out the Liability Waiver forms. If they are under 18, their parent/guardian must sign it.

How many people will be allowed in the structure at one time?
Up to 12 people will be allowed in the structure at one time. This could change based upon the activities in the space.

What can we do with the 3-D Printer?
The 3-D printer uses melted plastic to produce objects designed on a computer. Visitors to the MakerSpace may observe during scheduled times.

Who may I contact for further questions?
Bill Derry, bderry [at] westportlibrary [dot] org