Friday, December 13, 2013

Meeting with University City Chamber of Commerce

Ellen Bern from the University City Chamber of Commerce came to the library for a meeting and we talked about our library transformation project.  Ellen is a great advocate for University City businesses, active in other parts of the community and seems to have endless energy and ideas!  She was exited to learn about our plans for new equipment and services coming to the library and wants the Chamber to be involved as a test case for new ideas.  The library already partners with the Chamber and University City in an ongoing series of workshops for small business owners and people who are considering opening businesses.  Ellen had several ideas to add to the workshops about services offered by the library and information available to all our patrons but of specific interest to business.  Meeting with Ellen is always great because you leave with new ideas and a new perspective on how the library can assist our local businesses. We look forward to continuing our  partnership with the Chamber.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Visit to Arch Reactor!

This week, we had the opportunity to visit with Arch Reactor ( during their Tuesday evening open-to-the public meeting. From the outside, one would never suspect that this building was home to such amazing technical creativity and St. Louis' largest hackerspace!
Derek Sigler, Arch Reactor Education Director, greeted us at the door and led us through the hallways into their reaction chamber, i.e. their working spaces. For a visual, check out their website at They have equipment of all types ranging from electronics, printers, scanners, cutters, micro-circuitry, wood-working, and even a lounge area for entertainment.

Two of the most fascinating demonstrations involved the laser cutter and the Arduino. The 40-watt laser cutter uses LaserCad software to create 2D representations. Multiple material types can be used for cutting, each requiring specific calibration. For this demo, Derek had previously designed 4 letters in LaserCad and, after about 10 minutes of cutting time, reproduced the letters in exact detail.  
The second demonstration involved using an Arduino kit to programmatically control the lights, color, speed, and movement on an LED strip. For more information on Arduino, check out the product website at and also Wikipedia's page at

We thanked Arch Reactor for giving us the opportunity to learn about their space, projects, and activities. As we continue with planning the UCPL MakerSpace, we very much look forward to working with these talented people.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

In the past year or so, the University City Public Library (UCPL) has upgraded our wifi, added self-service faxing and scanning, added ereaders for training, and made Chromebook computers available for patron checkout (most of this through funding from LSTA grants from the Missouri State Library and the Institute of Museum and Library Services).
Thanks to the MOREnet Public Library Research Project, UCPL will soon be adding new services, offering new software, and upgrading the computer equipment available to our patrons.
UCPL will be providing our patrons with the following:

  • An audio / visual makerspace, allowing patrons to create, edit, and store digital images, documents, sound files, and video projects
  • A fabrication makerspace, with software and hardware to help all library users design and create physical objects
  • Training software for a wide variety of computer applications
  • A digital repository 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The November-December issue of University City's Newsletter, ROARS, features a front-page article about the MOREnet grant project:

Friday, November 22, 2013

Bill Coleman, Launchcode's Zach Lou, and Christa Van Herreweghe.
We met with Zach Lou, from Launchcode, on Thursday afternoon. Launchcode has a lot of exciting ideas for helping people in the St. Louis area learn how to code and start a great career.

Bill, Christa and Patrick met with David Drum, from MOREnet to discuss the grant and the timeline.

Bill Coleman, David Drum, Christa Van Herreweghe.
 UCPL Grant Coordinator, Bill Coleman, Assistant Director, Christa Van Herreweghe, and Library Director,  Patrick Wall met with MOREnet Research Manager, David Drum, on Wednesday, to discuss the MOREnet Public Library Research project at UCPL.

David and Christa discussing (and wearing) Google Glass.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Meeting with possible collaborators for grant activities

Last Friday we met with a variety of people who had advice for us about video software for our makerspace.  Eric Friedman is the chairman of CALOP (Commission for Access and Local Original Programing), Ed Mass is the COO of Crazy for, and Paul Heirent, a local video producer.  We talked about Final Cut Pro X, Logic Pro, Premier Pro, Photoshop, Motion and St. Louis Ted Talks.  We also talked about how equipment is getting cheaper and that this is a perfect time for libraries to enter the video and audio arena.

Ed Mass' company is involved with "flip education" which has teachers doing videos of lesson plans to be viewed at home leaving class time to work on the concepts.  He told us about the simple recording methods being used by educators who are flipping education.

All participants have great suggestions that we will take into account as we develop our plans and choose the hardware and software.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Signing the Memorandum of Understanding for the MOREnet grant.

 University City Public Library Director Patrick Wall signing the Memorandum of Understanding for the MOREnet Public Library Research Project grant on September 25, 2013.
The Board of Trustees of the University City Public Library voted unanimously to approve the terms of the MOU at their September meeting. The $330,000, 3-year grant will allow the University City Public Library and MOREnet to explore the future of library services and provide the citizens of University City with training software for a variety of computer applications. The grant will also fund the purchase of equipment and software for audio and video recording and editing, and equipment and software for 3D modeling, printing and fabrication.