BC-MI--Michigan Library-Secret Lab,1st Ld-Writethru/309
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University-library partnership leads to new 'Secret Lab'
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A partnership between the University of Michigan and the Ann Arbor library has developed a place where people can create, invent and learn.
Called "Secret Lab," the library's new community space for participants ages 6 and up, is scheduled to hold a kickoff event Friday evening. The Halloween-themed open house takes place on the lower level of the Ann Arbor District Library.
"Libraries have been places of creation for centuries," the library's Deputy Director Eli Neiberger said in a statement. "In the Secret Lab, creativity can expand beyond the written word, as library users learn new skills, tools and techniques within a universally accessible, all-ages setting."
The partnership gives University of Michigan School of Information students access to space in which to develop their tool and craft skills, and an opportunity to learn how to mentor children, encourage creativity and tinker with technology and new materials.
Kristin Fontichiaro, a University of Michigan clinical assistant professor of information, said the library is a great place to conduct her class "Makerspaces, Maker Culture, Maker Tools." Librarians can participate and help students borrow library tools and use library equipment.
Organizers say they hope to surprise participants with activities at "Secret Lab," and for Friday's kickoff event they say a hands-on activity involving pumpkins is planned. 3D printers and die cut machines will be used at the library as part of the event.
Previous makerspaces involving the School of Information have been at local elementary and middle schools, the university said.
Fontichiaro and Silvia Lindtner, assistant professor of information and art and design, have a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to develop makerspace education around the state, particularly in rural areas, in the summers of 2016 and 2017.
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