January 27, 2023

Taylor Daily Press

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Makerlab activities in the library are frozen

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GORREDIJK Due to the lack of funds for the supervision of the activities, the library in Gorredijk will temporarily stop the open visit of the Makerlab. The volunteers are disappointed and hope for a solution.

Southeast Fryslân Library has participated in the Makerlab National Pilot Project for the past two years. The support provided can be used for materials and furnishing the venue. “But not to use opening hours,” says Bodil Stelwagen from the bookstore. “Unfortunately, there is no room in the budget for next year to appoint a coordinator. There is also no budget to supervise activities and materials and to replenish and maintain equipment.”

According to Stelwagen, after evaluation, it was found that this direction and coordination were necessary to achieve the pilot’s goal. In the first quarter, volunteers are still allowed to use the remaining machines and materials. But the open visit on Wednesday afternoon will be suspended for the time being.

When the library was redesigned last year, a Makerlab corner was set up. Includes laser printer, 3D printer and vinyl cutter. In the opening, the library mentioned that sharing knowledge, the core of the library, goes far beyond lending books. You can also learn with your hands, just by doing.

The idea behind Makerlab is to discover, understand, create and share. Volunteers work with the equipment and others have to relight it, so an oil slick is created. The initiative aimed to meet and learn from each other.

Together, Iepen Mienskipsfûns and the Van Teyens Fundatie made available €35,000 to furnish Makerlab. Makerlab is a national project involving Koninklijke Bibliotheek, TU Delft, and Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, among others.

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Seven volunteers

In recent months, a group of seven Makerlab volunteers, including Albert Jan Voerman, have been active. Not surprisingly, action was taken. “I have always said that exploitation was not taken into account.” Volunteers were told at the end of December that free admission would close first. “It’s unfortunate, because interest has just returned. We can keep track of the material that’s still available, but then we don’t really know what to do. Hopefully, new ideas will come up in the coming months. It would be a waste of money invested if it stopped permanently.”

According to Foreman, volunteers can largely fend for themselves. Extensive mentoring is not necessary according to them. “But it has to be in line with library policy, somebody has to keep an eye on that.”