What kind of equipment will you need to plan maker activities in your library? What software could you use in a digital media lab? What online tools - low cost or free-of-charge - should you be aware of to help users design, create, and make? In our lists below, we share our suggestions to help you answer all of these questions based on the types of activities and services you want to offer.
Of course, there are myriad tools, types of equipment, and software programs or apps available - so it's important to pay attention to several factors when determining the right mix of tools for your space: your budget, your physical space constraints (including available furnishings, electricity, ventilation, noise, and more), the interests of your community, the goals of your space, your ability to support certain tools from a technical, cost, and sustainability perspective (i.e. can you keep the equipment running long-term?).
When planning for equipment, you may consider the following items:
- Computers - desktop PCs or laptops
- Digital cameras, camcorders
- Photo/slide/negative scanners
- Video recorders, VHS to DVD converters
- Tape recorders, cassette players, analog-to-digital converters
- Digital turntables
- 3D printers
- Laser cutters
- Milling machines
- Vinyl cutters
- Laser Engravers
- Sewing machines
- Robots or sets to build robots
- Many, many more...
For specific types, models or configurations, check out what existing makerspaces in libraries have, and contact them to ask them about their experience. Many list their equipment right on their web sites. For example: