"The Carroll Technology Council is delighted to support the creation of Exploration Commons at 50 East to expand and influence technology resources in the community. The libraries are an integral part of our education and technology ecosystem and a place where every citizen is able to access cutting-edge technology and resources at a minimal cost. What an amazing asset we will have in Carroll County as a result of the creation of Exploration Commons."
— Kati Townsley, Executive Director, Carroll Technology Council
A Makerspace is a community center where tools are provided to design, engineer, fabricate and learn. All skill levels are welcome and it offers a safe do it yourself environment where failure is just another step in the learning process. Learning may be self-directed or instructor led, and Exploration Commons at 50 East will provide the staff and guest instructors to assist with all learning styles.
We know some of the equipment that we will have available from day one, but as new technologies become available every day, there will certainly be equipment added that we haven't seen yet. A non-exhaustive list of equipment includes: 3D printers, laser cutter, 3D scanner, sewing machines, audio and video processing software, large format plotter/scanner, vinyl cutter, virtual and augmented reality equipment and software, robotics, micro-computers (Arduino), and a whole lot more.
Some equipment and tools may be reserved for a specific date and time, otherwise use is first-come-first-served.
The Makerspace is for ages 8 – Adult. Children ages 8 – 11 may work with a parent/guardian in the use of some machines in the space, but may not operate themselves. Children ages 12 – 15 may operate machinery with the assistance of their parent/guardian. Persons aged 16 and older may operate any of the available equipment. All users must complete an orientation session on the equipment they wish to use.
Programs held in the Makerspace will be led by an instructor and may also have age restrictions depending on the equipment used or content of the program.
We expect that much of the use of the Makerspace will be free. However, there may be programs where we need to charge to recoup expenses and we may charge businesses/customers for extended use of some of the equipment. Materials such as filament, cardboard, wood, yarn, etc., will be available for sale.
The entire space will be open and staffed during CCPL's regular library hours. In addition to CCPL staff, we will be working with outside presenters from various industries, professors from McDaniel and Carroll Community College, Carroll County Public Schools faculty, and local interns and volunteers. Our community has much to offer and we will require their expertise and support to make Exploration Commons at 50 East a success.
The Ting Makerspace was built as a condition of the Ting/Westminster City fiber network project agreement. Ting knew that we had plans to create the Makerspace at the Westminster Branch Library, so they decided to move ahead with their project to support making in the community until Exploration Commons at 50 East opens. The Ting Makerspace will become part of the new Makerspace at Exploration Commons at 50 East as part of the Ting/CCPL partnership.
There will be a formal community/partner input process during the design phase of the project, but feel free to contact us at any time with your suggestions or questions about the Makerspace.