Hidden on the second floor of the Texas Tech University Library is the “Makerspace”, a collection of technology that the library offers to all the students and faculty. The area includes a 3-D printing workspace and a virtual reality (VR) lab that can be used for a variety of different services.
Ryan Cassidy serves as emerging technology librarian within the Makerspace who works with two other staff members, Corina Alvarado and Sean Scully. Cassidy said all three have specialties in different technologies depending on what the user needs.
“We all kind of have our own little specialties, which is really nice,” Cassidy said. “If someone comes in looking for help with sewing, knitting or textiles, I’d probably direct them to Corina. If someone is coming in wanting help with something like Rhino 3-D or Python, I would direct them to Sean.”
Cassidy said the facility welcomes a wide array of students that encompass many different majors and studies.
“We’ve had everyone from engineering to chemistry to theatre students who come in and do scale models of what their stage production is,” Cassidy said. “It really is a multidisciplinary center for learning a new skill or maybe taking some knowledge you already know and doing it in a new way.”
Despite the availability of the space to all students, much of the technology has been unexplored, even to some members of the staff itself. John Higgins, an associate librarian, shared his perspective of the traffic he sees inside the space on a daily basis.
“The animation software has been really underutilized.” Higgins said. “I don’t really even know what all is on there.”
For those who are curious and wanting to learn about the technology, the Makerspace offers many instructional sessions on how to utilize the equipment, including Make Workshops, a program that holds many events throughout the semester. A few upcoming events include “International Dog Day” and “Tote Bag for National Women’s Equality Day”, both of which will occur on Friday, Aug. 26 in Room 210 of the library.
More information is available on the library website.