The Jacksonville Public Library’s Jax Makerspace is a place for making things, for hands-on opportunities to explore, collaborate and create. A multi-purpose creative space, the Jax Makerspace is located at the Main Library and features the Jax Makerspace Gallery with rotating exhibits that highlight the local arts community.
All of the programs and activities place an emphasis on making and creating, whether through arts and crafts, technology, music or writing. Here are just a few of the fun activities you can do at the Makerspace:
- Use a sewing machine
- Make vinyl decals
- Learn how to design and print in 3-D
- Take a ukulele lesson
- Paint landscapes with acrylics
- Learn basic video game design, and more!
Many of the programs are taught by library staff, as well as with partners from local organizations like Women Writing for (a) Change and The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville. Check out the full list of programs on the library’s website at Jax Makerspace events. All are free and open to the public. Pre-registration is not required for most classes and all supplies and equipment are included. You can also keep up with programs and events on our Facebook page.
In addition to the classes, customers have free access to equipment for self-directed use. Currently, the Makerspace has Singer Heavy-Duty sewing machines, Kala Soprano ukuleles, guitars and a green screen. Customers just need a library card in good standing to use the equipment and can reserve them ahead of time through our reservation booking software. Shortly we’ll have an audio recording station where customers can create tracks using GarageBand, equipment to digitize photographs, files, and video, as well as a Virtual Reality station.
We also have ongoing activities that don’t require a reservation. A variety of Make-Kits, with instructions and supplies for crafts like pompom makers and origami cranes are available anytime in the Makerspace. STEAM building kits like LEGOs and Tinker Toys provide engaging opportunities for kids of all ages to develop and refine their creative and problem-solving skills. With these and other hands-on activities, like loom weaving or building a flower wall, we strive to include, encourage and delight our customers with a variety of creating and making opportunities.
In collaboration with the Jax Makerspace, the Jax Makerspace Gallery is an exhibit space with a focus on local artists, featuring contemporary art that explores a unifying theme in a variety of mediums, painting, screen printing, textiles, videography, etc. Exhibited artists give talks and hands-on demonstrations in the Jax Makerspace.
Past exhibits include Kesha: A Black Female Experience of Identity and Race, Altered Objects: A Living History of Northeast Florida Culture, and Survive to Thrive: Life Beyond Sexual Violence. Currently, the Gallery is showcasing local street artists in the exhibit Writing on the Walls: Visual Literacy through Street Art Culture. Through April 14, the Gallery is also hosting the internationally known and anonymous street artist Banksy’s Haight Street Rat. There's still time to see him before he scurries away, gotta get a selfie!
With all that we have to offer you never know what you find going on in the Makerspace, make some time to come join us!