Kim "Gigi" Blackwell Makerspace Lab

On Thursday, June 10, 2021, a new area opened inside the Oskaloosa Public Library for the entire community to enjoy.  The area previously known as the 'story time room' has a new purpose - it has been transformed into the Kim "Gigi" Blackwell Makerspace Lab.  The Makerspace Lab provides a place for creativity, fun, and learning for all ages.

The Makerspace Lab was made possible through the generous donations from the Blackwell family and those who contributed to the Makerspace Lab Memorial fund in memory of Kim "Gigi" Blackwell.

What is a makerspace?
A makerspace is a collaborative work space for making, learning, creating, exploring, and sharing that can use high technology or no technology.  It is a place open to all ages and has a variety of equipment including 3D printers, laser cutters, robotics, electronics, and even sewing machines.  These spaces help develop skills in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM as you may have heard it called.  Makerspace labs provide hands on learning, help with critical and logical thinking skills, and even boost one's self-confidence.  Some of the skills that are learned in a Makerspace lab pertain to coding, robotics, 3D printing, and electronics.

In the Kim "Gigi" Blackwell Memorial Makerspace Lab there are different stations or areas that allow a person to work with various machines and items.  These stations/areas are:

  • 3D printer (printing jobs sent to for prior approval)
  • Sewing/Fabrics (sewing machines, iron, ironing board, cutting mats, and accessories)
  • Robotics/Electronics (digital microscope, robots, electronic kits, raspberry pi)
  • Video Production/Photography (video camcorder, digital camera, lights, and backdrops) 
  • Crafter's Corner (die cut machine, book binder, laminator, button makers, and Cricut machine)
  • Rock Tumbling (tumble and polish rocks)

In order to use the Makerspace Lab, users will need to read though the policy which can be found here or by stopping in the Lab during its scheduled hours and sign the forms associated with the use of the Makerspace Lab (if a user is under 18 years of age, a parent or legal guardian will need to read the policy and sign the forms).  If a user is a minor, a responsible adult (someone 18 years or older) must be present when the minor is using the Lab.