Chandler Library unveils public ‘Makery’ - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Chandler Library unveils public ‘Makery’

October 27th, 2021 development
Chandler Library unveils public ‘Makery’

By Ken Sain, Staff Writer

The Chandler Library’s new Makery space allows for some amazing things, such as allowing a grandmother to show off her tech skills to an unbelieving grandson.

“One time a grandmother made a 3D print for her grandson and told her grandson she created it from scratch,” said Stacey Akahoshi, the Makery librarian. “The grandson was just like, ‘No you didn’t. How do you know how to do this?’

“And then the grandmother came back into me and was like, ‘I impressed my grandson so much because he doesn’t know how to do this and I do now.’”

The library’s Makery has three different rooms and some high-tech equipment that most people with a valid library card can use free of charge: a project room houses a 3D printer and sewing machine; a lab is connected to a laser writer; and a studio allows for shooting photos, videos or podcasts.

The equipment must be reserved in advance and can be used for up to four hours or two hours a day, depending which room you’re using. There are some age restrictions and anyone using the equipment will need to undergo some online training for safety reasons.

The library officially opened its Makery on Tuesday.

It took four years to get there.

Abigail Nersesian, the downtown branch administrative librarian, had the idea to upscale a project room and said the pandemic delayed the opening.

But she expects it will see a lot of use soon.

“We’re going to see people come in to make things for their Etsy stores or make a custom wedding gift for someone else,” Nersesian said.

One possible use Nersesian suggested is for anyone who is thinking of starting a business and needs that equipment to develop a prototype. They could use the space to learn the equipment and make their product without having to invest thousands of dollars into the equipment.

“It is a natural evolution of our library services to create new spaces and programs where anyone can become a maker by exploring both emerging technologies, and traditional fabrication skills,” said Rachelle Kuzyk, the library’s manager.

One of the reasons içt took years to open the Makery is because they wanted to make it as safe as possible. Staff had to go through specialized training and buy special equipment.

For example, the laser used in the printer could reflect off some material that someone brings in if they’re not careful. And that could start a fire or blind someone.

There are two fire extinguishers near the printer, as well as a fire blanket that would be the first option if possible to try and salvage the printer.

“There are plenty of libraries in schools who use that exact laser printer …, so with that one we knew that there were safety protocols already put in place by them,” said Akahoshi, who worked at a Makery in California before coming to Chandler three years ago to run this one.

She said this Makery will be very do-it-yourself. However, they will be offering workshops to help people learn how to create their own jewelry with a 3D printer or use a laser printer to engrave a treasured item.

To use the studio, you must be 14 or older. To use the laser printer, you need to be at least 16.

Akahoshi said this fills part of the library’s mission in giving residents access to tools.

“It’s all about access,” she said. “The access you have to technology is huge. … [Intel has] these things there, they have 3D printers their own staff runs and plays with all the time. But, if we don’t spark that young, or we aren’t able to teach these new skills to other people, it will be hard for Intel to continuously be able to hire.”