It's no secret: we love the Cambridge Public Library staff! From circulation to admin, facilities to youth services - the enthusiasm, warmth, and dedication of the Library’s team makes Cambridge an amazing place to live, learn and explore.
Over the coming weeks, the Cambridge Public Library Foundation will take you on a virtual tour of the Library and introduce you to some of its STARS who make this place great. Our first stop is The Hive!
The Hive is the FIRST free makerspace in the City of Cambridge. Yep, you read that right! In a City filled with high-tech, biotech and innovation, this is the first FREE makerspace, available and welcoming to all.
The Hive opened on July 6th on L1 of the Library’s main branch (449 Broadway) and is part of a broader initiative called STEAM at the Library. The impressive array of technology in The Hive includes 3-D printers, a recording studio, a podcasting studio, laser cutters and more. The best part - everyone is welcome to learn new skills and explore their passions.
It's our pleasure to introduce you to two Hive superstars - meet Damon Avant and Em St. Germain! Damon is the manager of The Hive, and Em is the Manager of STEAM programming at the Library.
What is a typical day for you at work?
Em: Each day at The Hive is unique. Since opening in early July, mornings are typically occupied by one of our partners or community groups that support teen education. Then, in the afternoon, we run one or two workshops. Our days will probably look a little different during the school year.
What is your favorite aspect of working at The Hive?
Damon: The Hive is just a space...it’s what happens in this space that makes it important. It gives people the opportunity to learn something new. It is great to see people explore their interests and be creative!
Em: Since The Hive is still new, I love seeing people’s enthusiasm for the space when they get a glimpse of what is possible to make in a collaborative setting. Yesterday, a teen brought in a drawing he had done that he wanted to 3-D print into a small figure. I could tell that he was frustrated trying to use the new technology, but he was so excited and proud of himself when we finally got the figure printed. Everyone was excited to see the final product. It made it all worth it. It was everything for him to be able to conceptualize and create that.
How can the community use The Hive?
Damon: All events on the calendar are open to the public. There are also workshops to learn how to use the technology, like for button making or laser cutting. Before community members can sign up for any training they have to take a safety course. It is great to see people coming into The Hive just because they are lovers of makerspaces and they want to experience what is happening here.
Em: This space is for everyone. We’ve had people over 80 years old and as young as 6 years old come. The very first workshop we held attracted patrons mostly over 50, but then two workshops later there were parents here with young children. We've put sleeping babies in the recording studio (where it’s nice and quiet!) while their mothers work! It’s really interesting to see the array of people who come to The Hive.
How does The Hive put the “art” into STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math)?
Damon: We have the recording studio, podcasting studio, some of the partner groups creating videos, or writing and recording music or videos. We also have folks come in who are interested in making their art into some type of 3D concept. You can get creative with the space here depending on what you are interested in doing.
Em: The technology here becomes a new tool for creating. It’s a different type of medium that can enhance the artistic process. For instance, we had a woman come in recently who makes jewelry and is interested in 3-D printing some designs for her pieces.
For all those curious about The Hive, Damon and Em encourage you to come experience the wonders and explore the possibilities!
You can begin your journey as a maker here. You can reach The Hive at 857-235-9819 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. They look forward to seeing you soon!
Contributions from the City of Cambridge and our generous donors have made this incredible makerspace possible. If you would like to support the Cambridge Public Library’s STEAM initiative, please reach out to email@example.com.
The Cambridge Public Library Foundation is dedicated to supporting the Cambridge Public Library and its programs that educate, inspire and respond to the needs of our diverse community.