Troy-Miami County Public Library will be creating a technology center on the second floor of the Hobart Government Center in an effort to provide tech equity to the entire community after entering into a lease agreement with the Miami County Commissioners.
Preliminary plans are to model the Innovation Space after a makerspace at the Xenia Public Library and include 3D printers, a laser cutter, vinyl cutters/printers, CNC milling and routing machines, a laser engraver, a soldering station, a sublimation station, video editing and recording equipment, and a media conversion station.
“The Innovation Space will allow community members to design, prototype, and manufacture items using tools that would otherwise be inaccessible or affordable,” said Rachelle Via, executive director at the library. “For example, teachers, small business owners, and nonprofits may not have a lot of extra money or resources so equipment such as the vinyl printers make creating signs, banners, posters, stickers, and decals easy, and very affordable.”
There will also be a Learning Lab with approximately 15 computers offering specialized software and printers. The lab will be available for classes. The library currently works with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) but can only offer classes from 8-9 a.m. before the library is open. With a lab, the library will be able to offer classes on job searching, resume writing, and basic and advanced computer skills.
“We look forward to expanding our partnership with ODJFS and to making new partnerships,” Via said. “These classes will allow individuals to gain skills that employers require at no cost, leading to success in education and employment.”
When the lab is not in use for classes, it would be available for general use by the public. Public computers in Troy were used more than 13,800 times in 2019.
Additional spaces in the building would be available for use by the public as quiet spaces for work or study and would offer free WiFi. There will also be a business center with copier, scanner, fax, brochure folder, laminator and other commonly requested business tools. If space allows, we will have a small collection of popular materials as well as business and technical nonfiction books that can be checked out.
The library’s administrative offices, currently housed in the basement of the library, will also be moved to the Hobart building. Moving the public computers, administrative offices, and some meeting rooms will allow the library to look at renovating the main library to add a teen space and enhance other areas.