CILDC: The Fayetteville Free Library: a Fabulous Laboratory

I was able to hear Lauren Britton, Transliteracy Development Director at Fayetteville Free Library, talk about their library’s Fab Lab (sweet!). Here are my notes from her session:

Their FFL Fab Lab is the first permanent makerspace in a public library

A little bit on what a makerspace is… a place where people come together to create and collaborate, to share resources, knowledge, and stuff. They give people tools to create, to hack, to remake their world for the better.

FFL Fab Lab Story – started as a student proposal! She has turned that into her full-time job – hope she got an A on that!


  • her first task as a new librarian!
  • she writes a lot of grants
  • received some donations – both Makerbots were donated
  • develop community partners for funding, to teach classes, etc
  • alternative methods – awards and crowd-sourcing. Indiegogo (sort of like Kickstarter) – they raised $5000 that way.

MakerBot – one of the coolest companies she has worked with. Their 3D printers are affordable – under $2000. The plastics needed are about $40-50 a roll, and last a long time.

Developing a pricing strategy for the plastic – they’re using a time strategy – first 10 minutes of printing is free, then 10-15 cents a minute after that.

More than a MakerBot

  • not just about technology
  • Focus is on giving patrons the tools they need to create
  • example – help kids make their first book
  • then circulate those creations!


  • community is full of experts – use them!
  • You DO NOT need to be a digital fabrication expert – ie., use thingaverse
  • you DO need to provide the access

Building a Makerspace

  • don’t need much – space, money, equipment
  • programming ideas: open houses, bristlebot workshop, make your own book, Take-Apart-Thursdays – community donated things the kids can take apart (like a toaster) to learn about them.