Mississauga Libraries Embracing Innovation

While not everyone associates community libraries with top notch technology and innovation, that could change as more Mississauga facilities introduce what's known as "makerspaces."

A spokesperson at the city of Mississauga recently told insauga.com that the Courtneypark Library and Burnhamthorpe Library will be the next to add makerspaces (as of now, only the Meadowvale Library boasts one). For those who don't know, makerspaces are known as innovation hubs and "centres of creation" that exist within libraries and offer such technology as 3D printers and robotics.

The spaces are intended to provide a mix of resources and information and build digital literacy. They also teach people how to use and access online information "while performing ordinary tasks in a digital environment."

According to the city, these cutting-edge spaces provide educational initiatives that promote science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) learning and encourage:

  • a culture of creating;
  • learning through play and exploration;
  • informal teaching moments; and
  • peer-to-peer collaboration.

"We strongly believe in the idea that learning is a lifelong journey for anyone willing to embrace it," said Rose Vespa, Director of Mississauga Library Services. "By incorporating maker spaces into our libraries, we're giving people a reason to come together to create and share. We're being bold and reinforcing our commitment to innovation and creativity. When people have access to the right tools, training and resources, they are given the chance to try something new, look at things differently, understand unique perspectives and unlock their potential."

In a world where technology changes rapidly and becomes more important by the day, it's encouraging to see libraries embrace modernity.

They're no longer just spaces to read or research quietly (although they are, of course, still ideal for quiet study as well).

The makerspaces in the Courtneypark and Burnhamthorpe libraries are tentatively scheduled to be operational by the end of the year.

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