Life on the Road

“Woah, all I want is on the road again
Just can’t wait to get on the road again
The life I love is makin’ music with my friends
And I can’t wait to get on the road again”

The song by Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash describes my life here as the Northwest Regional Coordinator. I began my journey here in the Professional Development Office June 22, 2015; since that time I’ve had the pleasure of visiting 21 different libraries!   From Bremen and Bourbon to Chesterton and Whiting I’ve learned the various counties and cities in Indiana — did you know there’s a Mexico, Indiana? I’ve also been privileged to see and learn about the many wonderful libraries in Northwest Indiana and all the services they provide to Indiana citizens. Libraries in Northwest Indiana work hard to meet the needs of Indiana residents, with programs and services ranging from 1,000 Books before Kindergarten to Makerspace labs.

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Innovative Library Program: Westchester Public Library’s MakerSpace Lab

Northwest Regional Coordinator Kimberly Brown-Harden recently had a conversation with Automation and Serials Manager Rhonda Mullin from the Westchester Public Maker Space Lab9Library in Chesterton, Indiana. They discussed Westchester’s innovative MakerSpace Lab and the impact it is having on both patrons and the library.

Kim: Can you give me some background on how the program was created?

Rhonda: Our library prides itself in offering the latest technology to our patrons. Because of this we saw a need to introduce 3D printing as well as a MakerSpace Lab. Unfortunately, space is very limited within our library. We did some serious brainstorming and decided to create space within an existing space. So we literally created our MakerSpace Lab within the space of another room. We hired a contractor who constructed an interior wall with a sound barrier, cut in a door frame and door, installed a peek window and trimmed it out. From there we outfitted the room with equipment and supplies. Continue reading