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Friday, July 25, 2014

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'Making' an impact: Westport Library's MakerSpace helps inspire White House event

Updated 10:20 am, Thursday, June 19, 2014

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  • Bill Derry, the Westport Library's assistant director for innovation and user experience, talks about the new Design Thinking Center during the MakerSpace open house Wednesday. Photo: Jarret Liotta / Westport News
    Bill Derry, the Westport Library's assistant director for innovation and user experience, talks about the new Design Thinking Center during the MakerSpace open house Wednesday. Photo: Jarret Liotta

 

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A concept pioneered in Westport continues to make headlines when the White House on Wednesday hosted a Maker Faire -- a showcase that at its most basic celebrates the creativity, innovation and skills of making stuff, which is known as the Maker Movement.

In conjunction with the White House Maker Fair, the MakerSpace at the Westport Library staged a day-long open house to promote its programs and learning opportunities. The library has the Washington, D.C., event beat by three years, hosting the third annual Westport Maker Faire in April.

"It was just such a validation of what we've been doing," said Bill Derry, the assistant library director for innovation and user experience. He explained that the committee that organized the White House event had contacted Westporters for suggestions.

"And it's great that the White House has a Maker Faire," he said.

Last October, Derry said, the Westport Library received a $250,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which will help fuel the regular programs at the MakerSpace. Among those offerings are 3-printing and the new Design Thinking Center, which combines technologies to guide people through stages of creativity.

For more information about the Westport Library's MakerSpace, visit http://bit.ly/1h8yUC1