The patrons who use the Innovation Lab come up with some incredibly creative designs and projects, and they'll be showing them off this Saturday, October 1st, at 11 a.m. during the JHLIL Maker Challenge Contest. If you've made something in the Lab during the past three months, there's still time to enter -- but not much! Follow this link to find the rules and requirements, and register by Wednesday, September 28th.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared Thursday, September 15th as Power Up at Your Library Day to encourage libraries to promote technology, innovation, and creativity. We are quite happy to participate and have planned a couple of events around this day. First is "Chain Reactions," which is a drop-in program from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the Innovation Lab. Participants will be able to help construct a Rube-Goldberg machine and enjoy the fun and interesting results. Second is the Jocelyn H. Lee Digital Media Lab Open House from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. The public will be able to take a close look at this new service and space, which will offer opportunities to create, edit, and convert digital video, images, and audio/music. An official open date for the Lab is planned for October at a date yet to be determined. We hope you will join us for both of these "Powered Up" events!
Thanks to the generosity of late Freeman Library patron Jocelyn H. Lee, we will soon have another brand-new service available for you. The Jocelyn H. Lee Digital Media Lab will be a place for you to create, edit, and convert music, video, and images with state-of-the-art hardware and software. This new makerspace will be located upstairs in the former Copy Space between the Conference Room and the Quiet Room. Technology Trainer Raymond Harbert is currently working hard to train staff and prepare this space to open tentatively in October. An Open House is planned for September 15th from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. To see more about the DML, take a look at the Flickr album. We hope you are as excited as we are about this fun, new space available at your library!
Katelyn is a 5 year-old girl from Victoria, Texas who was born without a fully-formed left hand. Her family contacted Harris County Public Library to ask about 3D-printing a prosthetic, then visited the Innovation Lab here at the Clear Lake City-County Freeman Branch Library to meet with staff and volunteers and to discuss options. We decided to try making Katelyn an "Unlimbited Arm" from Team UnLimbited, part of the E-Nable Community.
Thanks to a lot of dedicated work from Innovation Lab volunteers (particularly Michael Craig and Robert E Bannon), the device was recently completed and delivered to Katelyn. In true maker fashion, Katelyn's dad has already made some modifications and improvements to make the arm more robust. Katelyn is looking forward to using her new hand during the coming school year.
With the continued support of the Friends of Freeman Library, and thanks to the dedication of volunteers around the world and right here in our local library, Katelyn is able to increase the function of her left hand because a public library has a makerspace - imagine that! We are so glad to have been part of this project.
The Clear Lake Theatre time capsule was opened on April 20, 2016, at 16602 El Camino Real, most recently the location of the Shanghai Tokyo restaurant. Two layers of concrete had to be cut away before the metal lid of the capsule was found. The entire process took approximately two hours, and the items were unfortunately found to be submerged in water, likely for the duration of the entire 50 years. In spite of the fact that the items were water damaged, Harris County archivist Sarah Canby-Jackson was on hand to take charge and offer advice on what to do. UHCL archivist Lauren Meyers carefully worked with the items in the library meeting room for the next two days and was able to save approximately half of the items, including an American flag carried by astronaut Pete Conrad into space on his Gemini V mission.
U.S. passport services will begin at the library on Wednesday, April 13th, from 1:00 to 7:00 PM in the Community Room, courtesy of the Harris County District Clerk's office. Walk-ins are accepted, but appointments may be made by calling 713-755-1674. This service will be offered the second Wednesday of each month through June at 1:00 to 7:00 PM. If this service is well-received by the community over the three-month period, the service may continue to be offered indefinitely. For more information, please call or visit the library.
We are only a few short days from the reopening of the Clear Lake Theatre Time Capsule, and we couldn't be more excited! For those who do not recall, a time capsule was buried on April 20, 1966, upon the grand opening of the Clear Lake Theatre. More information can be found in the library's time capsule Flickr album or on UHCL's online archive. There is also a Facebook group, and there are plans to make an attempt at live-streaming the event from that page. The event is scheduled for April 20th at 10:00 AM at 16602 El Camino Real (the address of the former Shanghai Tokyo restaurant).
Our friends at re:3D, makers of the Gigabot large-format 3D printer, recently published a blog article on their website about the Jocelyn H. Lee Innovation Lab. As you may know, we acquired a Gigabot for the Lab prior to its completion. We know many of you have appreciated having access to this impressive piece of machinery, given all of the original interesting and imaginative things that you have chosen to print.
re:3D's article is a worthwhile read if you are unaware of the brief history of the Innovation Lab or would like to know a little more about why a makerspace was pursued and how we feel about it now after approximately a year in operation. For those who have taken advantage of the Lab, thank you! We look forward to seeing how you will continue to learn and create!