The mission of the Laurel Public Library, is “Connect. Create. Inspire.” This small, rural public library is located in a town that is at the beginning stages of revitalization efforts. The library has a service population of approximately 15,500 people.
Laurel, Delaware is the poorest town in Sussex County where the median income ($33,387) is 55% of Delaware’s average median income. 25% of our population is below poverty, which is 3x the state level and 21% of our residents are currently on the Food Stamps program with 42.6% of students qualified for free lunches making the Laurel School District a Title One School. Laurel Public Library is a small rural library with a service population of 15,500 serving 44% White, 44% Black, 11% Hispanic and 1% Other. For fiscal year 2018 we served 82,986 patrons and offered 1,179 programs with 28,050 in attendance. We grow artists, we develop leaders, we support job seekers, we are a community space - we are community! We serve our community, their needs and we partner with all organizations to build a better - stronger community.
Connect – Create – Inspire: Makerspace
What do young thinkers, educators, inventors, entrepreneurs, and innovators have in common? They all have benefited from the use of makerspaces, even if they were not aware they were actually using one. Makerspaces build a Culture of Creativity, Discovery, and Inspiration using the STEAM principles of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. We will transform our once dull reading room and study rooms (2) into a makerspace dream room of creativity. The new space will allow all individuals the access to technology and tools that they would not have access to without our space, services and resources. Our community is hurting financially and library budgets throughout the State of Delaware have been cut over half a million dollars in the last ten years. Our small library, makes use of every asset we have and we are always looking for ways to improve not only our services but the lives of our community. This makerspace will open doors, add to school and homeschool curriculums, and help our patrons gain not only new skills but allow for personal growth and potential income by learning those new skills. One out of every ten adult in Laurel is unemployed and having a makerspace equals success for our budding entrepreneurs. This project is an unending project, once we are able to complete the construction and renovating the space, this space will be able to live and grow for many years to come. Connect – Create – Inspire – Makerspace will be for all ages and abilities. The great concept of makerspaces is that even babies are experiencing and creating as they grow and this in return, builds a stronger person as a whole.
Imagine you have a love of photography and you are unemployed and on state assistance.
Now, imagine you had a place you could go, for free and try your hand at not only taking pictures but also software and technology to enhance the final product.
How might your life change? Has this space made an impact on your life and potential for future success?
What about that senior in high school, struggling to decide what career path they should take in life? They have always liked science but uncertain to whether they know what area of science they want to study. They walk into our library and have free access to biology, physical science, and other areas through the access to this makerspace. After spending several months exploring this space, they know they want to be a research scientist. Did we impact their life?
Stay at home mom and her family are struggling to make ends meet and is looking to gain skills to help provide for her family. She walks in with her kids and not only do her children have access to this free amazing new space, but mom sees access to sewing equipment and she remembers she was once pretty good at sewing. Mom spends the next few days creating items, sewing a dress for her little girl and makes a baby blanket. Did we enhance her outcome for the better?
Mr. Johnson a fourth grade teacher is teaching a topic that the kids are having a hard time grasping. Mr. Johnson gives the library a call and asks if he could bring his entire class down and access the makerspace. The class walks over a few days later and after two hours of experiments/creating they have a better understanding of the lesson and Mr. Johnson did not have to spend his hard earned salary to pay for this object lesson. Who benefited from this access? This is what we do every day for everyone who walks through our doors. We see a need and we work hard to address that need for all. Makerspaces open that door for a community that access is little to none.
We have been approved by USA TODAY Network to compete in A Community Thrives Grant for and We Need Your Help!
Only donations $10 - $10,000 count. Can you help?
BONUS! They will give away four $25,000 grants to campaigns that raise the most money through A Community Thrives on CrowdRise in 2019.
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Thank you for your Support as we :
Connect - Create - Inspire!