State grant aims to expand rural library makerspaces

HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - The Hastings Public Library is going to see some major expansion of their makerspace technology.

Thanks to a grant from the Nebraska Library Commission, Hastings will be adding a vinyl cutter, a 3D printer, and more.

The Commission aims to encourage creativity and technology literacy in more rural communities.

“We always figure that this is a place for literacy. one of the things that we see is the need for technical literacy these days,” Librarian Tim Lentz said. “This gives us an opportunity to provide that to the community and really extends what has always been the mission of the library into the 21st century.”

The grant will also be helping:

· Kimball Public Library
· Beatrice Public Library
· Chadron Public Library
· Blue Hill Public Library
· Hastings Memorial Library, Grant, Nebraska
· Plainview Public Library
· Verdigre Public Library
· Laurel Community Learning Center

“One of the other things that the commission has tasked us with is entrepreneurship,” Lentz said. “That is really exciting. We are seeing with these technologies you can have a level of entrepreneurship that really wasn't available once upon a time and it can start here right in your public library.”

The Hastings Library will be getting an intern for their makerspace as well to help keep it better staffed and potentially expand makerspace hours.