From the Harford County Public Library:
An innovative, STEM-focused hub for teens and adults opened at the Abingdon Library today. The Innovation Lab is a digital media lab providing a dedicated space for hands-on or do-it-yourself learning in video production, self-publishing and 3-D printing.
The opening featured Harford County Public Library CEO Mary Hastler joined by Harford County Executive Barry Glassman; Alex Allman, Harford County Public Library Board of Trustees chair; Thomas S. Wintz, Sr., president and CEO of Rosedale Federal Savings & Loan; and Harford County Councilmen Curtis Beulah and Chad Shrodes.
The Innovation Lab offers library customers access to three Apple iMac desktop computers, sophisticated software, three 3-D printers, a professional green screen, studio light box, studio-quality microphone, HD camera/camcorder, stereo headphones and flat-screen television. In addition, hands-on workshops, training and classes will be offered throughout the year.
Funding for the Innovation Lab came from a $25,000 grant from Rosedale Federal Savings & Loan. Friends of the Abingdon Library also contributed $5,000 to the project.
“Harford County Public Library provides STEM education opportunities at the library for all ages, and the Innovation Lab is just one more way we are working to narrow the digital divide,” said Hastler, library CEO. “Launching the Innovation Lab provides the opportunity for families and the community to share their stories, create videos and explore 3-D technology. Harford County Public Library is providing sophisticated resources for the creation of original content, a place for hands-on activity and developing new skills.”
As a community workspace, the Innovation Lab will bring together people interested in computers, engineering, technology, science and digital design where they can meet, learn and collaborate. The Innovation Lab is also a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) initiative, and additional resources (determined by customer feedback) will be added each year over the next five years.
“Our partnership with the Harford County Public library grew out of a desire to celebrate our new building in Abingdon and further demonstrate our commitment to this community,” said Wintz, president and CEO of Rosedale Federal Savings & Loan.
“This library is where the magical world of reading opens up to children; where parents can see discovery happen; where community members can come together to talk, discuss and learn; and now where cutting-edge technology is available. For all these reasons, it is so important for us to participate with the Abingdon Library so that together we can support this community as it continues to grow and thrive.”
Harford County Public Library has developed a national reputation for innovation through programs like LEAP (Learn, Explore and Play), Little Leapers, Little Leapers 3.5 and for its 3-D printing initiatives. HCPL is also a leader in introducing emerging technologies and initiatives to the public and is a sought-after partner for organizations interested in collaborating with individuals, families, entrepreneurs and businesses in Harford County.