The image above shows the familiar view of Coopersville Area District Library as it looks now. I have many great memories of the library. I remember participating in the summer reading program as a child. When I got a little older I used to walk to the library from the pool in the summer and school in the fall and winter. I have check out books to research projects for school and, more often, just for fun.
Now I am very happy that my children are beginning to make similar memories. My children have both enrolled in the summer reading program this year. It is great to watch them participate in the fun activities and to see them win prizes, but that isn't my favorite part. The thing I enjoy most is knowing that they are off to a great start for a lifetime of learning. It is gratifying to see my daughter ask to check out books and begin to develop her own favorites. It reinforces for me how important the library is to the community.
Recently the library revealed plans to expand and better serve Coopersville. The proposed expansion would almost double the size of the building. It will include a new genealogy space and a community room. For more specific information you should stop into the library or click on the button below for an mlive.com article about the expansion.
At this point you are probably wondering what this has to do with science. One part of the expansion will include a MakerSpace. What is a MakerSpace? In its simplest form it is a DIY (do it yourself) space that allows people to gather as they invent and create. They often include equipment that individuals could not afford to purchase on their own. Having this equipment in a shared community space encourages creativity, creation, and the sharing of ideas.
One of the pieces of equipment that the Coopersville Library would have in its MakerSpace is a 3D printer. These are a lot like a normal printer except they print three dimensional objects out of plastic. They allow people to design objects on a computer and then make them a reality in a matter of minutes. If you google 3D printing you will find examples of people using them to design all sorts of amazing things including artificial limbs, toys, replacement parts, and lot of others.
I for one am very excited about the idea of a MakerSpace right here in Coopersville. I can't wait to see the creativity of our community unlocked by this space. The MakerSpace is only one piece of the expansion but I am sure that it will help a whole new generation of kids to make memories at our library. Of course this all depends on the community supporting a bond issue on the ballot this November. I would encourage everyone to stop into the library and look at their proposed plans before you head to the ballot in November.