Iowa library to create space for high-tech tools

By The Associated Press | Posted - Dec. 15, 2014 at 4:21 p.m.


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COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — A $34,600 grant from Google will help the Council Bluffs Public Library create a so-called makerspace, where people can use high-tech tools, such as a 3D printer.

The library's foundation has agreed to match the Internet company's contribution to help cover costs, The Daily Nonpareil (http://bit.ly/1zVSHeW ) reported. Details about the project are still being finalized, but officials hope to start reconfiguring a second-floor library room to be the new makerspace by next year, said Ben Johnson, collection development librarian.

The space would "look like a room of high-end computers" that will give residents access to technology they would like to use but not own, Johnson said.

"We're keeping it pretty open-ended and seeing what the community wants from us," he said. "We intend to have an open creative lab for any types of production and hopefully build a community base of like-minded people."

Chris Russell, the data center operations manager for Google in Council Bluffs, said the makerspace will be a hub of advanced technology that could have a positive effect on students and others in the eastern Iowa community.

"Attendees are able to learn science, technology, engineering and math skills and concepts in a collaborative environment," he said in a news release. "We are happy to be a part of it."

Council Bluffs resident Ben Hutcheson said he is excited to learn what equipment the library purchases for the makerspace.

"I think it is a fantastic thing to be brought into Council Bluffs," he said. "I look forward to seeing what they come up with."

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Information from: The Daily Nonpareil, http://www.nonpareilonline.com

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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