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F.D. Bluford Library Awarded Federal Grant to Fund the Bluford Maker Lab

Stephen Bollinger, Harvey Long, Tiffany Russell, Darian Quick, and Katie Kehoe had their grant project, Bluford Maker Lab: Design Your Future, selected by the North Carolina State Library to receive LSTA funding.
  F.D. Bluford Library Awarded Federal Grant to Fund the Bluford Maker Lab

Welcome to the Bluford Maker Lab, photo by S. Bollinger CC-BY-2.0

 

F.D. Bluford Library has been awarded a $50,000 grant to be used for the creation of the Bluford Maker Lab: Design Your Future. At F.D. Bluford Library, the LSTA grant will fund a space where anyone at NC A&T can create digital and physical objects and access emerging technology.

The lead principal investigator, Mr. Stephen Bollinger, said: "We are thrilled that, with LSTA's support, we can expand access to the tenets and tools of the Maker philosophy to the entire university community via Bluford Library's new Maker Lab. This will allow all of our students, colleagues, budding entrepreneurs, and innovators to ideate, prototype, and create projects that benefit their coursework, our university, and ultimately the world with their new ideas."

Mr. Bollinger and his team, which will include three soon-to-be-hired student leaders, will serve patrons by teaching them how to use this new technology and providing a space that welcomes everyone to make. The Aggie community will be able to experiment with tools as diverse as a 3D printer, to a sewing machine, to a soldering iron. Moreover, faculty across the disciplines will be able to incorporate equipment like this into their courses to create more hands-on learning experiences.

The library has been active in supporting making projects since 2016, but this is a welcome expansion of our services for more students with better hours of availability and more advanced equipment. Most importantly, this will be the first Maker Space on campus open to all students from all disciplines, with the hope that exciting collaborations will result. Finally, the space has been designed to host class sessions, so that Making can be integrated directly into course content across campus.

F.D. Bluford Library is grateful for the support of LSTA and IMLS as we embark on this project to expand access to new technology and to creative making spaces at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

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This program was supported by grant funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (IMLS grant number LS-249980-OLS-21) .

F.D. Bluford Library received two of the 49 competitive grants for fiscal year 2020-2021 awarded to North Carolina libraries from this year's federal allotment of $4,788,098. The LSTA grant program administered by the State Library of North Carolina funds library projects across the state that advance excellence and promote equity by strengthening capacity, expanding access, and community engagement in North Carolina's libraries.

For more information about North Carolina's LSTA program visit the State Library of North Carolina's LSTA web page at http://statelibrary.ncdcr.gov/ld/resources/lsta-grants or contact the State Library's Federal Programs Consultant at 919-814-6796.

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