Delaware Libraries Launch Inspiration Spaces

Date Posted: Wednesday, October 15th, 2014
Categories:  Delaware Libraries Former Governor Jack Markell (2009-2017) Kent County New Castle County News Office of the Governor Sussex County

Dover, DE – The Delaware Division of Libraries is pleased to announce the Official Launch of Delaware Libraries Inspiration Space was held on Wednesday, October 14, 2014, 12:30 p.m., at the Wilmington Public Library. The event featured remarks by Governor Jack Markell, demos of 3D Printing, hands-on experimentation with coding and design software, and more.

2014-10-14 13.02.58“Delaware libraries support an ever-expanding culture of innovation in the First State,” said Governor Jack Markell. “By providing the public with access to new technologies, as well as designated space for creativity and collaboration, the Inspiration Spaces offer additional opportunities for job skill development and entrepreneurial discovery.”

The Inspiration Spaces grew out of the $2.8 million stimulus grant the Delaware Division of Libraries received in 2010 to implement the Job Center @ Delaware Libraries. This grant made possible Job Center services in public libraries throughout the state, to assist Delawareans with job searches and job skills. Over time, as the economy rebounded and skills improved, the libraries began seeing an increase in need for STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) and Entrepreneurship services. As a result, the Job Centers are being re-branded as Inspiration Spaces, with partnerships, services, and programs to support innovation. The Inspiration Spaces are mini-makerspaces, which are collaborative, creative spaces where people can enthusiastically experiment with technology and ‘Do-It-Yourself’ activities. The Inspiration Space services will also include Entrepreneurship as well as continue to offer the career services that have been helping Delawareans in the job market.

“What’s great about Delaware librarians is their enthusiasm and willingness to adapt to the changing needs of the community,” said Secretary of State Jeff Bullock.

image6Inspiration Space services are available at all libraries throughout Delaware; the three main locations are the Wilmington, Dover, and Georgetown public libraries. All public libraries feature laptops with 3D modeling, design, and coding software, and programs on Coding, Digital Photography and MinecraftEdu. So far seven libraries have 3D printers, green screens, and design software: Dover, Georgetown, Laurel, Lewes, Milton, Wilmington, and Woodlawn. For 3D printing, Delawareans can design an object using any public library PC, or at home, and then have it printed in one of the seven libraries which currently have a 3D printer. Design, Coding, & Entrepreneur software includes: Cura, SketchUp Make, Blender, Scratch, Adobe Premiere Elements, Adobe Photoshop Elements, MinecraftEdu, Quickbooks, Business Plan Pro, ReferenceUSA, and Learning Express. Hardware includes: DLSR cameras, Green screens, Lighting kits, and Wacom tablets.
New and expanded partnerships include: the University of Delaware’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, Barrel of Makers, and the Delaware Financial Literacy Institute. Organizations interested in partnering with libraries can contact the Delaware Division of Libraries.

Although studies show that in the public’s mind the library brand is “books,” this launch event showcases libraries’ role to support all topics as a place to “get things done.” “Delaware Libraries Inspiration Space is an informal community learning environment for all Delawareans to explore their passions, unleash their genius, and achieve their versions of the Delaware Dream” said State Librarian Dr. Annie Norman. As technology evolves, libraries continuously keep pace to ensure individuals and the community excel.

2014-10-14 12.19.35President Obama recently called for, “an all-hands-on-deck approach to science, technology, engineering, and math…to make sure that all of us as a country are lifting up these subjects for the respect that they deserve.” The Delaware Libraries Inspiration Space ensures that all Delawareans have access to the knowledge and materials they need to succeed.

The Delaware Division of Libraries, a state agency dedicated to unleashing the potential in all Delawareans in partnership with Delaware Libraries, offers free access to the online catalog; Wi-Fi; computers/internet; eBooks, programs/classes, community partnerships, and more.

Beth-Ann Ryan, Deputy Director
Delaware Division of Libraries

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