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A makerspace — for anyone who isn’t yet aware — is a collaborative workspace where people have the opportunity to construct or explore just about anything they can imagine.
The goal of a library makerspace is to let patrons learn through hands-on experimentation and from collaboration with others. And yes, that CAN be achieved in a small library. Griswold Public Library, located in a small town of about 1,000 in southwestern Iowa, is proof.
I had just begun my job as director of the Malvern Public Library when I decided to kick off my first summer at the library with the launch of my brainchild, the Comics & Cosplay Club.
The club quickly became our most popular program. Fandom is a great way to bring people together, and I have developed a meeting plan that provides structure and variation to our Comics & Cosplay Club nights.
Corning Public Library serves a town of 1,500 in southwest Iowa. There's not a lot in Corning; we are the largest town in our county, the nearest city is a 90-minute drive away.
The library is especially important in communities like ours, as we provide programming that both entertains and inspires. Hosting an Amazing Race program allowed us to entertain our patrons while showing them that they don’t have to travel to find interesting things to do with their friends and families.
Winterset is a community of 5,120 in central Iowa, about 40 miles outside Des Moines. Since 2011, a number of our local organizations have collaborated to present Wellness Wednesdays in Winterset, a program series that strives to improve the health and wellness of our residents. Programs run from early May to late October and are free of charge and open to all ages.
At Slater (Iowa) Public Library, we find that it's usually tough to get adults to attend programs. But we have also seen a few notable exceptions, one of which is our Soup and Sound program. As the name suggests, this consists of serving a meal and providing entertainment to attendees. Soup and Sound is not only popular — it's fun, community-building, and we've been able to cover our program costs with donations.