Pasco County Libraries are on the move. A mobile makerspace will be touring the county bringing activities from the library on the go.
“The mobile makerspace is unique,” said Mary Kate Downing, Regency Park Library branch manager. “What it does it try to replicate all of our existing makerspace ideas; we have a kitchen at Regency Park Library, and Land O’Lakes has a woodshop. It tries to replicate those in a mobile format. We have a transit van with shelves so we can store equipment, which we were able to purchase with grant money.”
The mobile makerspace will also bring other library programs closer to the community, with robotic coding, musical instruments, gardening and more. The community got a taste of what the mobile makerspace can do after it toured Pasco County earlier this year.
“The mobile makerspace idea came from a brainstorming meeting in the fall of 2019,” Downing said. “I met with a couple of our libraries administrators and my regional branch manager. We were talking about what are some cool ideas to apply for grants, and we discussed the idea of a mobile library or a pop-up library. After some research, I settled on the idea of a mobile makerspace.”
Grant funds required it to be focused on children, so the library brought the van to Shady Hills where no library currently exists and offered its programs for youth in the third through the fifth grade. Now, the van can go anywhere and its programs can be accessed by anyone of any age. Downing said she hopes to find more partnerships to get involved with the makerspace. Schools would be a great option, but at the moment, many campuses are closed off due to COVID-19.
So far the mobile makerspace has gained positive public feedback, Downing said, with the hands-on activities being popular among children. Some of the activities included teaching children how to cook, build a birdhouse, and learn coding.
The mobile makerspace will be available for the public to explore and observe demonstrations each Monday evening from 6-7 p.m. at the Regency Park Library, 9701 Little Road, New Port Richey.