Move over, books. Make room for Imagine Space.
The Ottawa Public Library has doubled the size of its hugely popular makerspace at its Nepean Centrepointe branch, a venue that caters to artists, students, inventors and tinkerers who need cutting edge equipment to express their creativity.
Imagine Space is equipped with 3D printers, laser cutters, photo and video editing equipment, a green screen and a range of hand tools.
"There were a lot of people and we couldn't keep up with demand," said Danielle McDonald, the CEO of the Ottawa Public Library. "This is what people want, and they've told us that because they've registered for it and they've filled this room."
Imagine Space encourages creative people from all disciplines to collaborate on various projects. Participants ranging in age from children to their grandparents have produced everything from Christmas ornaments to robots together.
McDonald says it's important for a contemporary library to make room for all kinds of learning and creativity.
"I think this is a really good example of the library of the future, I think the libraries of the future are all about the space and how we use them, how agile we are in those spaces and how we can take different attempts to learn and be curious."
The original Imagine Space was launched as a one year pilot project in 2014, when the U.S. Embassy donated funds to purchase equipment and run the program.
From the very start, it was booked solid. It's still free — all participants need is a library card.
McDonald says the library has had to do some financial juggling to expand Imagine Space and keep it going, but she says it's worth it.
"People are saying this is important to us."