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The Dirt

Square One: Woodland Library’s Makerspace

By: Emme Dunning, for The Dirt

Libraries are an essential community resource. They provide a place for people of all ages to continue learning. At the Woodland Public Library, a community makerspace has dramatically upped the game—providing new, tactile learning opportunities in arts and engineering.

Established in 2017 as a part of the Woodland Public Library, Square One is a makerspace that expands the mission of the library in serving their community. Square One offers free training and access to tools and supplies that are otherwise inaccessible to the average person. Things like vinyl cutters, 3d printers, woodshop materials, laser cutters, and much more. The space also provides more typical crafting materials like yarn, paper, and markers.

During open hours, visitors can explore the resources offered in the space or take a class through the weekly crafting program, which guides visitors through the process of creating a project.

A key feature of Square One is its commitment to making sure the space is age and ability inclusive. Local K—12 schools are introduced to new and innovative opportunities for creativity through field trips and classes, no matter their age or skill level. The space is also used by teenagers and adults in supporting passion projects or starting their own business through vinyl cutting, button making, and printing resources.

Trina Camping is the Square One Makerspace librarian, and she has seen the growth and learning in the space firsthand.

“Students from all four high schools in town have found skills and hobbies they never knew about and had never considered. Field trips from all the elementary schools in town have introduced students to tools and safe places to explore and develop,” Camping told The Dirt. “Dozens of small, local businesses have been opened with support from equipment and staffing in Square One.”

This unique resource—tools and instruction—is free of charge, making it particularly useful for those looking to pursue or continue a project that may be otherwise unfeasible.

“I wish everyone knew that it’s all free,” Camping said. “We have the equipment and supplies to learn all of the tools in this space–it’s for everyone to learn, explore, and connect.”

Among those who have found a space for creativity and connection is Sam Leveau, who, as a Square One employee, has helped countless library patrons explore their passion for creating.

“Any age group can come and bond over the creation of projects,” Leveau said. “The idea is for people to come in with an idea like a project and then actually leave with the project in hand.”

Square One provides the tools—but also the environment. The staff, Leveau said, is supportive and welcoming.

“They don’t just put in their effort, but they also put in their love and energy into fostering a very creative and open community.”

Whether your goal is to crochet your first hat or 3d print an action figure, Square One has a resource available. Just bring your library card (and close toed shoes).

Address: 250 1st St, Woodland
Phone: 530-661-5989
Online: woodlandpubliclibrary.com/191/Square-One
Monday & Tuesday: 9a—3p
Wednesday & Thursday: 1p—7p
Saturday: 10a—4p

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