The Jodie Knight Fab Lab is on the top floor of the library and has 13 digital fabrication machines including a 3D printer, an A1 printer and a vinyl cutter.
The Fab Lab also includes a sewing machine, a Dremel, video editing and music production software, and machines for printing on mugs, T-shirts, bags, and other materials.
‘We are very excited to be opening the Fab Lab. It’s a place to learn, to play, to create, and to invent – the idea is that, in the Fab Lab, anyone can make almost anything,’ said Catherine Stuart, head of learning and development at the library.
‘Supporting lifelong learning is one of the library’s key objectives and the Fab Lab will have a big role to play in this respect in the coming years.’
Chief librarian Laura Milligan added: ‘For many years, libraries have offered PC and internet access to people without computers at home, so the library is a natural home for this next generation of technology. We hope the Fab Lab will give everyone in the community the chance to use machines that might otherwise be out of reach.’
The Fab Lab is named in tribute to Jodie Knight, the library’s former deputy chief librarian and chief librarian designate, who died in 2020.
‘Jodie loved the library and she played a huge part in driving the service forward in recent years. She is dearly missed by all her friends at the library, but we know she would be proud of this new initiative – it’s something that was especially close to her heart, and she’d been wanting to introduce it here for a long time’, said Ms Milligan.
‘It seems only right that we dedicate the Fab Lab to her memory.’
The Fab Lab is available to anyone aged 11 and over and is free to use.
Users must be library members, book a slot via an online booking system, and undertake an induction first.
It is open Monday to Saturday during normal library opening hours and is supervised by library staff at all times.