Story image
Help us help our community!
The Friends of the Library are launching an Indiegogo campaign. The campaign will help us acquire items for their upcoming Makerspace. Please consider donating! Items to be purchased include a large format 3D printer, sewing machines and equipment, a laser cutter/engraver, wide format printer, digital conversion equipment and more.

Our Friends of the Library group has launched an Indiegogo campaign in order to help us purchase items for our Makerspace.  

The following comes from the Friends' Indiegogo Campaign:

The Marion County Friends of the Library is a non-profit organization supporting the Marion County Public Library in Lebanon, Kentucky. We help the library with funding for items not allocated in their regular operating budget.

The Create It and Make It campaign is geared toward the library’s new MakerSpace area, focusing on STREAM learning – Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts, and Math. In a county of just under 20,000, the library staff uses every opportunity to expose children and their parents to new and exciting ways of creating.

Library staff have put together a list of items that they feel would help them help their patrons. The library has been able to purchase smaller items like Squishy Circuits, Makey Makeys, and some conversion equipment to help patrons of all ages. What they need are funds for larger items to help entrepreneurs, students, and the youngest of patrons. These items include:

  • Super 8 and 8mm to Digital Converter – to help patrons convert their old movies into a format that they can watch and share with their family and friends.
  • Glowforge – an enclosed laser cutter/engraver that would allow patrons to bring in their own materials to engrave or cut. This item would also help patrons who want to beta test a pattern or even create a prototype for items before spending a lot of money to create a large amount of this item.
  • Large format printer – in rural areas, usually the only place someone can print out a large photo is online. Even many of our local construction companies don’t large printers where they can print out blueprints or elevations of projects. For the cost of ink and paper, the library could provide that service so they can print their own items out and not have to wait for print outs from architects or other clients.
  • Sewing machines, a serger and embroidery machine – We are blessed with a great County Extension Office, but just like the library, state funding continuously gets cut. With these items, we can partner with the Extension Office and their Master Clothiers to offer sewing classes and more.
  • Large format 3D printer – Several years ago, the library was blessed to receive a 3D printer with a book order. It has gotten a lot of use by staff to save money as they create their own signage, coasters, items for programs and more. Once the library moves back home, the librarians plan on integrating the 3D printer into STREAM programming by teaching kids how to create their own items to be printed. A larger 3D printer would allow for greater flexibility and the capability of printing several jobs at once.
  • Arduinos, soldering kits, raspberry pi kits, etc. – Each of these items help teach users about circuitry and programming. The Area Technical Center has been a great asset, helping to introduce high school students to vocational education. With the above mentioned products we can assist in this, as well as introduce even younger kids to the world of engineering, computers, and beyond.
  • Microfilm machine – While many think of microfilm as a dying technology, it is still the preferred archival format at the Library of Congress. Our library maintains a large collection of microfilm used by genealogists from across the country. The last time a part had to be replaced, we were told to keep our fingers crossed that parts could be found, as replacement parts were no longer being made. A new machine would allow staff to continue aiding patrons in their genealogy and history research, as well as possibly digitizing the microfilm for online use.

MCPL not only serves a county of just under 20,000, but they also have patrons from the surrounding six counties, with those six counties adding an addition 143,000 potential patrons. Our librarians work within the local school district, as well as with daycares, nursing homes, and with patrons doing research across the country.

In the past, the Friends have helped the library purchase cabinets for the genealogy room; Kindle Fires for summer reading prizes; iPads that are used for programs and OPAC stations; backpacks for the county reading celebration; benches, trash cans and a picnic table to be used in the reading garden; popcorn, cotton candy and snow cone machines; outdoor theater equipment for the end of summer movie and other events; as well as paying for specific programs during summer reading, and funding teen and tween lock-ins.

One of the biggest challenges libraries face is that some people think that, since we’re funded by tax dollars, we have as much as we need. This is definitely not the case. The tax rate for MCPL is extremely low, but the librarians have always been adept at making every penny count. However, when it comes to technology, it’s difficult to find the funding for all of the tools they would like to introduce to the public.

Over the last year, the library has started collecting items for a “library of things,” including ukuleles, bongos, a lap harp, cake pans, decorating items and more. They have also been able to purchase smaller items for the MakerSpace like a green screen, cameras, and smaller electronics. They know they can do so much more and create a greater impact with newer technology. If there’s one thing the librarians at MCPL pride themselves on, it’s thinking outside the book!

If you can’t donate funds, perhaps you would consider donating items for the “library of things” such as tools, sewing machines or musical instruments. You can share the news of the Indiegogo campaign and get friends and family involved. If you’re part of a larger business, perhaps your employer or parent company would be interested in donating either funds or items. MCPL is all about community involvement!

Thank you for considering donating to our campaign.

To donate, click on the following link.  Thank you in advance!