Library’s innovation is rewarded

When it comes to innovation, Wilton Library is full STEAM ahead — its Innovation Station maker space has received the Connecticut Library Association’s (CLA) 2015 Award of Excellence in Public Library Service.
This annual award honors a public library that has provided an outstanding program or service to its community.
The award was presented to Wilton Library staff Mary Anne Mendola Franco, assistant director, technology & training; Thomas Kozak, webmaster/network services assistant; and Susan Lauricella, head of teen services & maker space coordinator, at the CLA annual conference in Mystic on April 28.
“The awards committee was very impressed not only by your … Maker Space but by the promotion in the community” said Marjorie Ruschau, CLA regional representative. “We loved the creative, collaborative nature of this event. It provides an excellent model of an engaging community program.”
Judging criteria included creativity and innovation, service to the community, and leadership in creating model programs which will affect the future of the library and its community.
Wilton Library’s Innovation Station maker space opened in June 2014 and promotes STEAM learning — offering classes and one-one-one instruction geared towards science, technology, engineering, arts, and math education. Since then, the library has offered more than 500 programs and opportunities for STEAM learning.
“STEAM learning is a way to teach how all things relate to each other and prepares our community for success in school and in life,” said Wilton Library Executive Director Elaine Tai-Lauria.
“Our Innovation Station makes STEAM learning come alive, giving the community a hands-on opportunity to explore new technologies, equipment and avenues of inspiration. We are honored that CLA has recognized Wilton Library’s commitment to innovation.”
The Innovation Station was funded through a generous grant from the Shoff Foundation as well as a series of private donations. Current equipment offerings include a MakerBot 3D printer, an iMac with Final Cut Pro, a PC with Adobe Creative Cloud, a digital scanner, a VHS to DVD converter, a Cricut Die Cutter, soldering stations, a 3D Doodler, an electronic sewing machine, and a variety of crafting supplies. The space also has snap and squishy circuits as well as Arduino and Raspberry Pi components. Atomic Training videos are available to provide training for more than 300 PC and Mac software applications. For those interested in Manga and comic illustration, Manga Studio 5 software is installed on both the PC and iMac.
Current offerings include introductory classes in 3D printing, 3D Tinkercad design, die cutting, soldering, electronic sewing, digital scanning as well as VHS-DVD conversion. In addition to small group classes, one-on-one training and open work sessions are offered.
To schedule an appointment, email or visit Information: 203-762-3950, ext. 213.