The Studio provides a maker-space at Greenwood library

Being creative has never been so easy.

Inside the Greenwood Public Library, people will be able to create fabric art on a loom, use pastel chalks or craft an architectural masterpiece using Keva wooden planks. They can take advantage of sewing machines or scanners to complete craft projects that have been languishing unfinished at home.

For budding video stars or podcast experts, cameras, microphones, greenscreens and other equipment will be at their fingertips.

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“We really want to make it a place where people are making and building. We’re giving you the tools, but it’s really self-guided making,” said Emily Ellis, assistant director of the library.

Local residents can can satisfy their creative urges in a new lab and maker space at the Greenwood library. The Studio will feature supplies, equipment and instruction allowing people to work on do-it-yourself projects in addition to providing an audio-visual booth to shoot films, videos or record podcasts.

An open house is being held today to introduce the community to the space, and people can start using it starting Monday.

By making this space available to the general public, library officials want to inspire everyone from expert creators to novices looking for a chance to tinker.

“We see the library as a community connector. Activities like this really do build a community. People get really into making, and this gives them one space where they can meet others who are passionate about it as well,” Ellis said. “The library can be a destination.”

The Studio emerged as officials searched for a way to spotlight some of the library’s most popular programs while taking advantage of space that was no longer being used efficiently. A classroom on the second floor had been set aside for classes and other activities, but it wasn’t regularly being used.

“It felt kind of like a dead space, because we didn’t use it every day. It was a nice big space with a lot of potential,” Ellis said.

That classroom was moved to another area, while officials worked on revamping the existing space into something completely new to the library. They had always offered different programs and activities encouraging DIY projects and crafting.

More recently, tech-savvy programs on podcasts and videos had become popular, particularly among younger library-goers, Ellis said.

So why not set aside a dedicated space for those types of interests?

“These are things that we’d always been offering. But we really wanted to make a dedicated space where any community member of any age had a place to do that,” Ellis said. “This is a destination where you can go to make in your community.”

Greenwood officials toured other libraries throughout the region to get a sense of what other communities had access to and what the setup of The Studio should be.

The library administration was able to appropriate money from its budget for equipment and renovation of the space. Financial help was also provided by the Friends of the Greenwood Library.

The vision was to create two separate areas of creativity.

Inside the Maker Studio, people will be able to check out materials such as looms, leather-making equipment and a Circuit Scribe for drawing electrical circuits using conductive pens. Ozobots will allow people to code and create their own robots.

Sewing machines, scanners and a Cricut — a specialized printer that cuts shapes and letters out of paper — are set up in the corner of the room. Computers are loaded with editing software if people need it.

Large tables with chairs around them will let people spread out with the projects if they need space.

“We’ve got tons of DIY kinds of things mixed with more STEM-based items as well,” Ellis said. “It could be something as simple as needing a space where you can spread out and have room to work.”

The potential exists for the library to add different kits and materials, depending on what people are interested in and what they want to use, Ellis said.

Through another door is the Audio and Visual Studio, which will be available to be reserved as people want to work on more tech-based projects. Using cameras, recorders, microphones and other equipment that can be checked out, people can make videos, do photo shoots, make podcasts or conceive other media-based creations.

A green-screen with professional lights is set against one wall. A table and chairs has been set aside for people recording a podcast. Equipment is available to make stop-motion animation.

“They can create in here, and then we have all of the editing software on the computers,” Ellis said. “So now we have a quiet space for those kinds of things.”

Classes and programs will be held in The Studio to get people started in different activities if they want to. Ellis envisions contests where people can try to tackle a different challenges each week.

“We have the equipment and tools that you can use so you don’t have to buy them yourself until you realize that it’s something you really enjoy doing,” Ellis said.

Already, patrons have started asking about The Studio and inquired about using it. The space is unique for the library and a new kind of endeavor, but officials are confident that it will become a popular asset for the entire community, Ellis said.

“It a little bit of the unknown, because it is different kind of place for the library. But we’re really excited talking to community members and getting the word out there to get people excited about it,” she said. “I think word of mouth is going to go a long way.”

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The Studio

What: A creative space with supplies and equipment for people to complete both do-it-yourself projects such as sewing, painting or origami, as well as audio-visual projects such as making videos, podcasts and professional photos.

Where: Greenwood Public Library, 310 S. Meridian St.

When: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Closed Sunday.

Who can use it: The space is available for Greenwood library members, who can check out materials and space using their library cards. Non-members can also use the space by providing ID.

Open house: The public is invited to explore The Studio from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today.