Could Hawaii Libraries Be Makerspaces?


16042677519_501074458f_mWhat if Hawaii state libraries had the opportunity and some funding to add makerspaces to their offerings? That was one of the ideas floated at a town hall meeting yesterday at the HiCapacity makerspace at Manoa Innovation Center.

Sen. Glenn Wakai was the special guest of HiCapacity at its first general meeting of 2015. As the chair of the Senate Committee on Technology and Economic Development, he shared some of the priorities he had for the upcoming legislative session. He said a small pilot might allow forward-thinking librarians to set aside some space and acquire some equipment to give their communities a chance to build some of the things they might read about.

Hawaii state libraries already have excellent Internet connectivity, and adding tools like 3-D printers or hosting workshops on Arduino electronics could greatly expand the educational opportunities available in a place already committed to a neighborhood’s access to knowledge.

Last year, the American Library Association expressed its support of makerspaces in libraries.

Other priorities Sen. Wakai shared included:

  • Funding for a new home for the High Technology Development Corporation (HTDC)
  • More funding for small businesses doing innovative research and development.
  • Increasing the speeds and lowering the costs of broadband internet access.

The makers and friends in attendance were encouraged to spend some time at the state Capitol, and heard specific suggestions on how to connect and collaborate with policy makers.

Read more: Local Makers Urged to Help Shape Tech Policy

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