A Makerspace is for Exploring and Creating

In last month’s newsletter we discussed our library makerspace area with our new 3D printers.  We want to expand what we do with our makerspace area and the exciting thing about this possibility is the variety of ways we can make this happen.  A makerspace is just what the name implies, an area to make things.  These things can be made by high tech exotic machines or they can be things made from machines that have been around for many, many years.

We now have two sewing machines available for check out.  One of the additions we want to add to our makerspace would be the combination of a couple more sewing machines, a serger, and an embroidery machine.  A way to learn about these machines and the chance to actually use them is not a common as it would seem.

A key aspect of makerspaces is the freedom to experiment.  Perhaps you have always wanted to try your hand at sewing but for whatever reason have never had a chance to.  You might try sewing and find you love it, you might find you never want to look at another sewing machine again.  Either outcome is okay, the main point is you had the opportunity try something new and find out for yourself.

It is not fully decided that we will add sewing machines or the other machines that go with them, but we feel they would be a valuable addition to our makerspace area.  Some might feel going with this older technology would be old school.  That’s okay, maybe it is, but it will teach those that are interested how to use these machines and give them the chance to explore something new.  It gives them the opportunity to create and make something that they may have never had the chance if not for a library makerspace.

Another machine we would be excited to bring to our makerspace is a laser engraver.  This machine is high tech and expensive and simply amazing.  It will engrave a variety of different objects with just about any pattern you can come up with.  Some of the surfaces that can be used to engrave a pattern on are wood, acrylic, glass, plastic, stone, fabric, anodized aluminum, marking metals and more.  This may or may not be something that we add to our makerspace, but it is one of the high-tech machines that will be part of the manufacturing of the future and we hope to someday make it part of our makerspace area.

Hopefully this has given you some idea of what a makerspace in a library is and some of the ideas we are working on to make the most out of our makerspace area.  We are always open to ideas wherever they come from and if you have an idea for what we could add to our makerspace area we would love to hear about it.  These are the technologies of the past, present, and future and we want to make them available to all those that are interested.



What is a Makerspace?

The library world is changing.  For generations libraries were places to find books and information.  That of course is still an important focus for libraries, but it is no longer the only focus.  One of the big changes in libraries is the addition of Makerspace areas.  A Makerspace area is exactly what the name implies, a space to make things.  It can be argued that America is now a consumer society, that we do not create and make things the way we did at one time.  Makerspaces allow people to both create and make things on their own.

The Denison Public Library is in the process of creating a Makerspace area.  Because of the generosity of a local business owner we now possess two new 3D printers that are truly remarkable machines.  We plan to have classes on these printers and welcome community input on how to fully utilize them.  We are in the process of learning how to use them, so this process is new to us as it will be to most people just becoming aware of what 3D printing is all about.  For those familiar with the 3D printing world we have already made a number of objects that can be seen around the library and as well as objects for individuals that have brought printing jobs to the library.

You may be wondering by now how you find objects to print and what is the process of getting them printed.  You can design the objects you want printed but more on that in a bit.  The simplest way to find and get something printed is go to the websites, “Thingiverse” or “MyMiniFactory.”  You will find many free objects to print, though there will also be a large number of objects that costs money to get printed.  There are also other websites to get things printed from, but these are two of the most prominent.

When you go to these websites you can search for objects by name or subject and once you find something, download the program to a USB drive and bring it to the library.  We have final say if something is printed but unless it is offensive or inappropriate there should be no problem.  The cost is 15 cents per gram, so most objects cost very little to print.

There are thousands and thousands of things to print.  Some are practical, a pencil holder for example, others are more artsy or are made just for the fun of it.  This is where things get really exciting.  There are websites that teach how to design your own 3D objects.  We hope to have classes on designing 3D objects, but we are not there yet.  If you or someone you know has expertise in this area and want to share some of your knowledge please feel free to let us know.  We will try to find a way so that others may learn from what you already know.  Makerspace areas are about creating, making, sharing, and collaborating.   The Denison Public Library wants to facilitate this process.  More on Makerspace areas next time.

Consumer Health Complete Database Part 3

Continuing our look at the Consumer Health Complete database, available through the Denison Public Library’s website with a valid library card, we find a number of journals available towards the bottom of the webpage.  Yoga Journal is the first magazine available and while the number of articles from this magazine are not great they are still useful and informative.

If possible, you will want to have Adobe on your device, so you can see the text and pictures the way it is laid out in the magazine.  You don’t have to have Adobe, it is a free download if your device doesn’t already have it, but the pictures won’t be available, and the article will be in plain text without looking like the magazine.  The pictures help with the different Yoga positions talked about in the different articles but are not mandatory to benefit from the articles.

Consumer Health Complete database, or CHC, is hosted by EBSCO HOST.  If you want to use the articles available through this database and need to cite your sources there is a “citation” tab that will bring up all the relevant information.  Another useful section on most of the citation pages is an abstract.  The articles in Yoga Journal are not very long but if you want to know the main points of the article before you decide to read it the abstract of the article is a great place to get this done.

Healthy Recipes is another interesting section of CHC.  When going to this part of the website you come across this description of what if offers, “Not sure what to make for dinner tonight? Craving a fruity and refreshing beverage? Need a side dish for an upcoming potluck? Published by various U.S. Government organizations, Healthy Recipes from the U.S. Government is a collection of hundreds of recipes. Each recipe comes from reputable health organizations and websites, such as,, the National Institutes of Health, and the US Department of Health and Human Services.”  The recipes are divided into the following sections, “Appetizers, beverages, bread, desserts, entrees, side dishes, and soups, stews and chili.”

The great thing about “Healthy Recipes” is it gives full nutritional value of the recipes along with ingredients, number of servings, and cooking instructions.  Some, but not all, recipes include diabetic exchange information calculated and provided by the American Diabetes Association.

Another interesting and useful part of “Healthy Recipes” can be found on the pages with recipes under “Safety Information.”  Here you will find a link to “CHC Resources.”  This page provides a number of government websites dealing with health issues including the U.S. National Library of Medicine & National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

As with the other articles in the CHC database there is a citation page if you are doing research in the “Healthy Recipes” part of the database and printing an article is straightforward.  We will continue looking at this valuable database in the future.

Consumer Health Complete Database

We are continuing our look at the “Consumer Health Complete” database accessible through the Denison Public Library website.  There are a number of interesting things to look at with this database.

Near the top of the page is an advanced search tab for when you want to do detailed searching.  One box you may want to check off on this page is the “full text” box.  A number of articles come with only a citation page and abstract about what the article is about but not the article itself.  This can be frustrating when you think you have found an article with the information you need only to realize the full article is not available.  These types of advanced searches can take some practice to get the most out of them but can also be interesting with the results you can get.

Next to the “advanced search” tab is the “Medical Dictionary” tab.  This tab contains, “Merriam-Webster’s Medical Desk Dictionary” which can be very useful when you are not sure the full spelling of a word.  If you know the first couple of letters of the term you are looking for just click on that first letter and scroll down till hopefully you find the word you are looking for.  There are a couple of interesting and useful parts to this page.

When you click on the term you are looking for the definition and pronunciation will both come up.  On some terms there are links to related topics and information that can be useful when researching a subject.  Another useful part of this page is at the bottom where you will find, “Search for your word in Consumer Health Complete.”  Clicking on that tab will bring up all related articles in “Consumer Health Complete” that are related to that subject.  This can be useful in that it widens your search and brings in articles with information on your particular subject that you may not have thought of before.  It is a way to do research in a general way without having to worry about doing an advanced search that can be frustrating if you’ve never tried it before.

Below these searchable tabs are a number of interesting tabs that allow you to search through a number of different resources including: evidence-based reports, encyclopedias and reference books, fact-sheets and pamphlets, news and magazines, drug and herb information, alternative sources, images and diagrams, and videos and animations.

Each one of these tabs can be useful in their own way.  Are you pregnant or know someone who is pregnant and want to know what the baby looks like at a particular point in the pregnancy?  “Images and diagrams” has a number of articles that show the baby’s development throughout the pregnancy so that you have a clear understanding of your child’s development.

Perhaps you are worried about Diabetes but are not sure exactly what it is or anything about the condition.  Look under the, “Fact sheets & pamphlets” page to find an explanation of what the disease is and other information about it. We will look at more from this website in the future.

Consumer Health Complete

We have covered several databases provided by the Denison Public Library and in this month’s newsletter we are going to cover the Consumer Health Complete database.  This database can be found on our library website.  Look to the tabs along the left side of our website and click on the one that says “Databases.”  Move your cursor over to the list of databases and choose “TexShare Database.”  As with the other links on our website you will need a valid Denison Library card to access this database.  We have the info for password and userID information here at the library.

So, what is the Consumer Health Complete (CHC) database?  A description of this valuable resource can be found under the “Database Help” tab.  The description is as follows, “Consumer Health Complete (CHC) is the single most comprehensive resource for consumer-oriented health content. It is designed to support patients’ information needs and foster an overall understanding of health-related topics. CHC provides content covering all areas of health and wellness from mainstream medicine to the many perspectives of complementary, holistic and integrated medicine. This full text database covers topics such as aging, cancer, diabetes, drugs & alcohol, fitness, nutrition & dietetics, children’s health, men & women’s health, etc. CHC offers a unique search interface designed to call attention to the full text content available from many important source-types, and provide an intuitive means for searching this specific information. Information provided in this database should not be viewed as a means for self-diagnosis or a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.”

While it is your doctor who should be the go to person when it comes to your health it is important that the other sources you use for your health information come from a reputable source.  The CHC database is part of HONcode, a group that works with the World Health Organization to ensure the information they approve is reliable and trustworthy so that you can feel assured the health questions you have are being answered with solid, fact based information.

It is easy with a database to jump in and start doing searches right away and you can certainly do that with this database. To get the most out of your searches however, it is always a good idea to go to the help page. Besides information about the database there is a wealth of information on how to search and use the site to its fullest.  Students may want to look over the help page as it helps with linking and citing articles that may be used for a school report.  There is even a section on citing articles in different styles such as AMA, APA, MLA, and others.

All users will benefit from the search tips that can be helpful when searching subjects that do not give the desired results the first time around but may be able to be found by using a different combination of words or searching techniques.  Next time we will look further into this valuable resource on health information.

Summer Fun for Adults

Summer is always a busy time in a library and the Denison Public Library is certainly no exception.  With the addition of our new adult programming librarian, Zoe May, there is more of an emphasis on programming for those outside the kids and young adult age range.  Of course, there is still a ton of children’s programs and events as well.  Zoe has a degree in music history which coincides perfectly with our Summer Reading Club theme of Libraries Rock!

You can look on our website for programs and events in more than one way.  For a quick look you can try the calendar tab and look at a list of programs going on for that month or you can hit the week tab for programs for the week or the month tab for programs happening that month.  If you want to print the calendar you can go to the library’s homepage, hit the calendar tab and then hit the monthly calendar tab.  This will bring up a list of separate adult and children’s programs calendars.  When you find the one you want simply click on it and print it out.

There are lots of programs for adults and families in July.  There are musical performances or classes each Saturday morning.  On Saturday, July 7th, there is a Caribbean Music and Movement show for all ages at 11:30.   This follows the Hampstead Stage Production of American folktales and songs on July 2nd.   Check out our website for other Saturday performances.   If you would like to enjoy a movie, we are continuing our Texoma Film Club summer series of Hayao Miyazaki films from 7-9 pm each Tuesday night.   We also have movies on Friday and Saturday afternoons, including Black Panther, Ray, School of Rock, The Miles Davis Story, and Phantom of the Opera.    Each Tuesday in July, from 5:30 to 6:30 we have music themed classes or activities, including a Decades of Music class and an Introduction to Opera.    If you are in the mood for some fun relaxing activities, we have a Coloring and Coffee activity on July 3rd and a “Playtime for Grownups” class on July 24th, demonstrating the Makey Makey product.   On Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4pm to 7pm, we have a Role-Playing Game group that meets in the Teen area.   We will also have a Dungeons & Dragons/ Role Playing Game camp in July.  See the library calendar and Facebook for times.

Zoe is continually looking for fun, interesting, and educational adult programs to bring to the library.  If you have ideas or thoughts for programming in the future there is a suggestion box at the circulation desk at the front of the library where you can let us know what programming you would like to see.   We cannot guarantee your idea will become a program but if we can make it happen there is a good chance that it will.   We want to make our adult programming a success.  Your input is an important step in making that happen.

Sarah Cheek, Youth Services Librarian

Meet one of our newest team member, Sarah Cheek. Sarah received her bachelor’s at Austin College and her Masters of Library Science at TWU. Sarah has worked or volunteered for the Denison Public Library since she was a teenager. This inspired her to pursue a career in Library Science.  In 2006, Sarah was assigned to help with the Youth Services Department to help with Summer Reading Club. “Going into children’s was totally accidental… I was hugely impressed by the work Joyce had done, transforming the children’s program and have been a part, in some capacity since that time.” Sarah is excited to now be a full-time member of the team and will be specifically focusing on the Teens. She will be working with our Teen Advisory Group and the lead facilitator for the 5th-8th graders during the Summer.

Sarah also announced a special program for teens: The Edge of Imagination Station stop-motion workshop.  This has limited capacity so teens will need to register for this event. It is open to teens 13-17 or entering 7th-12th grade. Those interested should register at

“The library has always been my second home… A library’s goal should be to produce lifelong learners. We strive to produce programs where the children, parents, staff, and volunteers all learn a little something, stretch themselves.”

Be sure to stop by and introduce yourself to Sarah.