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Waldinger’s Makerspace officially opens

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After roughly two years of planning, the Henry Waldinger Memorial Library’s Makerspace room officially opened at a ceremony on March 7.

The room cost $25,000, and was funded partially through a New York state construction aid grant with the remainder through Valley Stream’s budget. It features a 3D printer, laminators, microscopes and programmable robots available for children, teenagers and adults. Appointments would be required to use the equipment, according to Library Director Mamie Eng.

She said the library has had some of the equipment for several years. In 2014, it received a State Senate grant to purchase a MakerBot Replicator desktop 3D printer, and a 2017 grant from Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages helped fund additional robotics and technology kits. Since then, Children’s Librarian Jaclyn Kunz said, students have been using the equipment for school projects.

Both librarians said that they hope the new Makerspace room attracts patrons to experiment with new technology.

“We’re hoping when they see the booklet of what’s available, they’ll ask questions,” Eng said.

Kunz added that she wanted people to “realize the library’s more than just: come in, sit down and read a book.”