The makerspace at Rockwood Library reflects an exercise in 21st-century library thinking. Aware of the changing relationship between libraries and their communities, Hennebery Eddy created an equipment-based learning environment for youth to develop digital literacy skills.
The makerspace fully integrates site, technology, and building into a transformative experience for underserved youth. Sited in an economically challenged and culturally diverse neighborhood, the 1,100-square-foot addition offers the first free makerspace in Multnomah County. Designed with modern laptops, 3-D printers, laser cutter technology, and extensive software, among other tools, the space functions as a portal introducing youth to technology and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math) skills.
An intentionally informal warehouse feel invites patrons into a work-in-progress space, promoting innovation within. Wood perforated ceiling panels and storefront fritted glass include binary code – the primary language of computers – representing the translation of human ideas to the machines used to produce them. Technology-centric, the makerspace is a testament to the ever-evolving public library and a step toward amending digital divides facing the community.