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Bonners Ferry Fab Lab 0

Morgan Gariepy and I planned a road trip to the Boundary County Library in Bonners Ferry, Idaho at the beginning of January, and it was fantastic! First of all, Boundary County boasts the first Fab Lab in the state of Idaho. Their fabrication laboratory is a part of the FabFoundation network started by MIT. It boasts multiple 3D printers, vinyl cutters, milling machines,  an engraver and cutter, and classes to empower community members to use the equipment themselves. The degree to which this rural library has been able to reach into their community, enrich the skill sets of their members, and participate in the Maker movement on a national scale was invigorating and inspiring.

One example is the 3D printed Axolotl enclosure located at the library’s front desk. When members enter the building they are greeted by Ritalotl the Axolotl, an amphibian indigenous to Mexico. In addition to the library books and posters about the animal, members can also see the 3D printed habitat and enclosure pieces that were manufactured in the library’s Fab Lab.

Ritalotl the Axolotl

Nick Madsen is a Youth Services Specialist at the Community Library Network.

Morgan Gariepy is the Teen Programming and Services Librarian at the East Bonner County Library.

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