Pin It
Favorite

SLO County libraries roll out Mobile MakerKits 

With just the swipe of a library card, virtual reality devices can now come to the homes of San Luis Obispo County residents for free.

While the library has offered cardholders access to open hours at the SLO MakerSpace for years now, Sharon Coronado, the adult services coordinator for the library, wanted to take things up a notch. So at the end of 2018, the county library system rolled out its Mobile MakerKit program, which allows adult library cardholders to check out a virtual reality device, sewing or embroidery kit, a JD Humanoid robot, a Wacom Cintiq tablet, and more for free for up to three weeks.

"It's turning out to be very popular so far," Coronado said. "Everything has holds."

click to enlarge SO REAL A SLO County Library patron tries out the Oculus Go, a virtual reality device made by Facebook. The Oculus Go is just one device that can be checked out as part of the Mobile MakerKit program. - PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE SLO COUNTY LIBRARY
  • Photos Courtesy Of The SLO County Library
  • SO REAL A SLO County Library patron tries out the Oculus Go, a virtual reality device made by Facebook. The Oculus Go is just one device that can be checked out as part of the Mobile MakerKit program.

The library offers 12 kits with different devices and equipment for various projects. The Mobile MakerKits are funded by $10,000 in grants from the State Library and the Southern California Library Cooperative.

"I think our patrons are very capable of amazing things, and the maker movement is the perfect conduit for that," Coronado said.

Coronado also said that so far the Oculus Go, a virtual reality headset device made by Facebook, is proving to be the most requested item out of the Mobile MakerKits. At just $200, the 32-gigabyte version of the Oculus Go is an affordable way to offer virtual reality to more people.

"People can have virtual reality in their homes," Coronado said.

Using the Oculus Go, library patrons can meet with friends and also participate in different games or experiences. Many popular movies and shows, like Coco and Stranger Things, offer interactive experiences on the Oculus Go.

Cardholders can also check out the robotics kit, which includes a JD Humanoid robot, or create digital art on a tablet or engage in more traditional crafting like sewing and embroidery. The adult section of the library website now includes a resources page with different tutorials that go with each kit.

click to enlarge HUMAN TOUCH Meet JD the Humanoid, who comes in the robotics kit that library cardholders can check out for free for up to three weeks. - PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE SLO COUNTY LIBRARY
  • Photos Courtesy Of The SLO County Library
  • HUMAN TOUCH Meet JD the Humanoid, who comes in the robotics kit that library cardholders can check out for free for up to three weeks.

If a device from a kit is damaged, lost, or stolen, Coronado said that patrons won't be charged the full retail price of an item. The cost of repairs or replacements would be determined on a case-by-case basis.

"The most important thing for us is that people use the library," she said.

Currently there are about 65 holds on the 12 different Mobile MakerKits, with one third of those holds being for the two Oculus Go devices. Coronado said the library hopes to expand the program and is working to see which devices are most desired and if local residents would sponsor more kits.

"We're always here to listen," Coronado said. Δ

Arts Writer Ryah Cooley is working on her hand lettering skills. Contact her at rcooley@newtimesslo.com.

Tags:

Pin It
Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Search, Find, Enjoy

Submit an event

Trending Now

© 2019 New Times San Luis Obispo
Powered by Foundation