Get innovative at Cook Park Library's new Workshop

  • Reference librarian Joe Murrow inside the public makerspace called the Workshop opening to the public this weekend at the Cook Park Library in Libertyville. The space features things like a sewing machine, virtual reality goggles and a 3-D printer.

      Reference librarian Joe Murrow inside the public makerspace called the Workshop opening to the public this weekend at the Cook Park Library in Libertyville. The space features things like a sewing machine, virtual reality goggles and a 3-D printer. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • Cook Park Library reference librarian Joe Murrow demonstrates a 3-D printer that will be available to the public in the library's new makerspace called the Workshop. The area opens to the public Saturday.

      Cook Park Library reference librarian Joe Murrow demonstrates a 3-D printer that will be available to the public in the library's new makerspace called the Workshop. The area opens to the public Saturday. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • The Cook Park Library in Libertyville will open a public makerspace called the Workshop this weekend.

      The Cook Park Library in Libertyville will open a public makerspace called the Workshop this weekend. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

  • The Cook Park Library in Libertyville will open a public makerspace called the Workshop this weekend. "(We) wanted to create a collaborative environment for patrons to learn, create and explore while encouraging them to use their creativity and imagination," said Jennifer Plohr, the library's senior manager of adult and teen services.

      The Cook Park Library in Libertyville will open a public makerspace called the Workshop this weekend. "(We) wanted to create a collaborative environment for patrons to learn, create and explore while encouraging them to use their creativity and imagination," said Jennifer Plohr, the library's senior manager of adult and teen services. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer

 
 

Months in the making, Libertyville's Cook Park Library will open a makerspace to the public this Saturday.

Dubbed the Workshop, the lab is a place where patrons can work by themselves or in groups on a limitless variety of creative projects.

Available equipment includes a 3-D printer, a button maker, virtual reality headsets, sewing machines and a green screen and lighting for video production.

"(We) wanted to create a collaborative environment for patrons to learn, create and explore while encouraging them to use their creativity and imagination," said Jennifer Plohr, the library's senior manager of adult and teen services.

The Workshop was created last year in the lower level at the library, 413 N. Milwaukee Ave. but only scheduled programs have been held there so far.

That changes Saturday, when the space will be open to any interested patrons from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Open lab sessions will continue on Saturdays during those hours.

Officials hope to eventually expand the Workshop's drop-in hours.

Programs for teens and adults will continue in the Workshop. Upcoming activities include a demonstration of virtual reality headsets set for 6 p.m. Jan. 18 and a mitten-making class set at 6 p.m. Jan. 24. Registration is required.

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Some classes and activities may require patrons to bring or purchase materials. For example, thread for the sewing machine is available at $1 per hour of use. Button sets are available for purchase for that machine, too.

"While we do need to charge for some consumable materials, we wanted to keep the fees small so they would not be a deterrent for use of the Workshop," Plohr said.

The Workshop space formerly was occupied by a digital studio that has relocated and split into two rooms, upstairs and downstairs.

Constructing and equipping the Workshop cost $15,000, library Director David Archer said. The Friends of Cook Memorial Public Library District nonprofit group donated $900 to pay for five sewing machines.

Any Cook Memorial patron can use the Workshop. So can people who have cards at other Illinois libraries but register at Cook Park as a reciprocal borrower.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Others makerspaces can be found at libraries in Lake Zurich, Wheeling, Grayslake and Naperville, to name a few.

The Workshop and its equipment are open on a first-come, first-served basis. Using the green screen and lighting will require a reservation, however.

A Workshop also is planned for the other Cook Memorial library, the Aspen Drive Library in Vernon Hills. It'll be part of a $6.8 million expansion project set for this year.

For more information or to register for Workshop programs, visit cooklib.org/workshop.

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