cleveland public library to launch high-tech maker space downtown

What are the kids into these days? Learning to sew, if you can believe it.
The Lorain branch of the Cleveland Public Library recently purchased sewing machines and began offering classes, and apparently they're a hit with young adults, who are interested in crafting, learning to make and repair their own clothes, and upcycling older materials into something new.

"They absolutely loved it," says branch manager Olivia Hoge of the classes that debuted this fall. "It's something old that's coming back. The idea of 'making' is becoming very prevalent in libraries."

The Lorain branch is offering additional classes in December, and Hoge says that youth involved in the effort might also hold a fashion show as part of Cleveland Fashion Week.

Sewing classes are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how CPL is tapping into the maker movement, however. In January, a new high-tech Maker Space will open downtown, complementing the already-diverse offerings available there.

Housed in TechCentral, a technology and learning center in the lower level of the Stokes Wing, the MakerLab will feature the latest cutting-edge tech, including graphic design software, audiovisual recording equipment, vinyl cutter, laser cutter, 3D scanner, high-definition video camera and smartboard.

"It's pretty cool," says C.J. Lynce, manager of TechCentral. "We've invested in equipment, tools and software that are high-level and professional."

"TechCentral and the MakerLab fit into our strategic priority of 'Forming Communities of Learning,'" adds Cathy Poilpre, Assistant Marketing Director with CPL. "Collectively, all the services offered in the MakerLab make CPL the center of learning for our whole community. Most people have a place they live, a place they work, and this is like a third place -- to play, engage and learn."

The TechCentral MakerLab is slated to open January 11th in the main library.

Source: Olivia Hoge, C.J. Lynce
Writer: Lee Chilcote
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