HASTINGS, Neb. (AP) — Between its uses as a creative outlet and a business tool, Audra Leichleiter considers the Hastings Public Library’s PIXLab Makerspace to be invaluable.
Leichleiter, a freelance photographer, writer and graphic designer from Harvard, recently used the 3D printer to make Barbie furniture for her 4-year-old daughter, Kai Leichleiter-Moe, and the laser cutter to engrave her brother’s taxidermy logo. business on leather patches.
“If you’re not in college or high school, sometimes you feel like there’s no way for you to create and explore your creative side,” Leichleiter said. “So it’s absolutely invaluable for mental health.”
PIXLab stands for Production, Innovation and Exploration.
The Hastings Tribune reports that the library has extended the opening hours of the PIXLab Makerspace from January 31. and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.
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The library is currently closed on Sundays.
Leichleiter is grateful to staff members like library assistant Erica Rogers, who oversees the PIXLab Makerspace.
Rogers said PIXLab Makerspace hours had been shortened even before the pandemic – usually available by appointment. The PIXLab Makerspace was only open four hours a day.
“We’re kind of at the point now where we think people are used to the appointment system for things that they need one-on-one help with,” she said. “We’re like, well, let’s go and expand the hours, that way we can get more people here.”
While the PIXLab Makerspace is now open for walk-in use, Rogers said there are situations where making an appointment is helpful.
“If you want one-on-one time with a staff member, I would definitely make an appointment,” she said.
An appointment also ensures access to the desired material.
Larger equipment requires a certification tutorial. Rogers said these are usually booked in two hour increments – 45 minutes for certification and the rest of the time to allow the client to work on a project.
While Leichleiter used one of the PIXLab’s 3D printers and laser cutter, Gloriann Peddicord, who works with the Cottages of Hastings elderly living quarters, used PIXLab Makerspace binding equipment to take hand-written recipes. by Cottages residents, their friends and family. and make flip cookbooks.
The project also used the PIXLab Makerspace copier and laminator.
When planning flip cookbooks, residents of Peddicord and Cottages immediately thought of using the PIXLab Makerspace.
“We thought of the binding machine after coming down for one of the craft days they have,” she said. “It was easier than we thought. So we immediately went to the binding machine. Color printing is very cost effective. So everything works within our budget.
The PIXLab Makerspace hosts a monthly Take and Make activity.
Residents of Peddicord and Cottages regularly use PIXLab Makerspace equipment for projects.
“We’re going to come here and use all the facilities,” Peddicord said. “It’s good for our residents to get out into the community and get involved in new things.”
Extended hours in the PIXLab Makerspace mean more flexibility.
Previously, Cottages residents and staff had to adjust their hours of operation to use PIXLab Makerspace equipment.
Residents of Cottages used PIXLab Makerspace equipment last year to make Christmas gifts such as coffee mugs, t-shirts and bags.
“There are a lot of opportunities here and people just need to start exploring,” Peddicord said. “Staff is great.
The PIXLab Makerspace has been around since October 2017, after the library reopened following an extensive renovation project.
In recent years, new equipment has been added, including the binding machine, a new sewing machine, an embroidery machine, an update room and a hat press on the heat press.
Customers have flocked in the week since PIXLab Makerspace’s opening hours increased.
“We definitely had a handful of people I didn’t see with the dates,” Rogers said. “I think they’re pretty excited.”
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