With funds granted through the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the Kearney Public Library chose to enhance its MakerSpace!
Kearney Public Library purchased two Warrior Butcher Block tables to give its patrons more space to be able to create and complete projects. The library also purchased a Glowforge Laser Cutter. This piece of equipment can cut wood, glass, etc. As time goes on, library staff hopes to learn more about what materials work with the laser cutter and be able to expand the types of things that their patrons can make.
In addition to the tables and the laser cutter, the library also purchased an HP DesignJet z9+ 44″ PostScript Printer. This printer allows staff and patrons to print large signs, banners, maps and more! Staff utilized the printer to make banners to post inside and outside the library as well as unique library displays.
Patrons showed great interest in these new pieces of equipment and were excited about what the library could offer. One woman utilized the MakerSpace to make Christmas presents for her family. Once library staff learned how to operate the new equipment, they held training sessions for patrons. These sessions were both in group settings as well as 1-on-1.
These new pieces of equipment are great additions to Kearney Public Library. They provide patrons with access to technology that they could not afford on their own. Library staff can utilize them for new programming. As patrons make use of this new technology, staff is able to plan for more useful technology purchases in the future.
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) is result of the federal stimulus bill passed by Congress. The Nebraska Library Commission received a one-time award of $2,422,166. A portion of this funding has been allocated for three projects:Formula based grant program, NLC Library Improvement Grants, and NLC Youth Grants for Excellence.
For more information about the 2021 American Rescue Plan, visit www.nlc.nebraska.gov/grants/arpa/index.aspx