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Great Things Happen when Art and Community Come Together

women's group meeting in The Forge

The reviews are in, and The Forge is a big hit!

“It’s awesome!” says Michele. “There are very few places where you can get together with friends and just create. It’s very freeing and just a really fun time.”

The Forge is the new makerspace at the Library. Dedicated to learning, creating, and connecting with other people, the space is filled with gadgets and gizmos that you might not otherwise have access to. And you can use any of them.

“People have used our 3D printer to print all kinds of things,” said JJ Berger, the Library’s IT Manager. “Doll-sized hair bands, cat feeders. One person printed a replacement part for her coffee maker. Saved about $20 versus buying the part.”

person holding a 3D printed doll-sized hairband with cat ears
Doll-sized hairband with cat ears printed with the 3D printer in The Forge

In addition to the 3D printer, The Forge has a vinyl cutter, a button maker, a leather stamping set, and some sewing machines, with a serger on the way.

“It’s a place to think outside the box, to socialize, and even to sharpen your critical thinking skills. Where else can I use a brand new Cricut for free?” Linda Goetz said.

Barb Kleinow agrees. “The Forge has been a great experience for our women’s group. It’s a wonderful place to gather and create with plenty of space, materials, and tools for our needs! Far better than the other locations we used to gather at.”

Creating is good for the spirit

A Forge user who wanted to remain anonymous had this to say. “I know a veteran that uses this makerspace a lot and it’s helped with things that go beyond just being creative.  It has helped her battle social anxiety, even her depression. When art and community come together, great things like this happen.”

Keeping The Forge going

The Forge is possible only through the generosity of our community. While the makerspace is free for anyone to use, the Library does ask for a monetary donation if you use any of our supplies.

If you want to donate supplies, the Library has a wish list with several items earmarked for the Forge.

You can also donate your time and expertise. “We’re actively looking for makers who want to share their knowledge in The Forge,” Berger said.  Trent Ristow of Ristow Designs has volunteered to share his 3D printing expertise on November 8, and Forge user Barb Kleinow has offered to teach a class on plarn, which is yarn made from plastic bags.

Contact Library Director Jacqueline Rammer if you’re interested in volunteering in The Forge.

person making a bag out of plarn
Barb Kleinow making a bag out of plarn

Events in The Forge

While you can just walk in and use the tools and equipment in The Forge, the Library also uses the space for Library programming. Teens regularly meet in The Forge for Makerlab where they explore and create with K’nex, LittleBits, Strawbees, Legos, meeperBOTS, Spheros, and 3D pens. There’s also the monthly What the Craft?! series of arts and crafts programs where the teens get to create something cool that they get to keep.

What the Craft?!

Let’s get crafty! Each month we’ll complete a craft/project for you to keep. For Teens ages 12 – 18.

Wednesday, November 17  
3:00 PM