Making Libraries More

A few times a week, you can find a mother-daughter duo at the Natrona  County Library. You might not find them among the books, though. Instead, they’re sewing makeup bags to sell online.

After a family member experienced a stay in an ICU, the two saw how care packages can lift someone’s spirits. Now they’re using money earned from their online sales to help others. They’re raising money to make care packages for the NICU.

Without the Creation Station at the Natrona County Library, these two wouldn’t have the space to work. Or to pay it forward.

A Place to Make Meaning

Libraries were once thought of as places to check out books. Quiet places to read. Today, they’ve grown into something much more. Libraries now have a huge variety of resources like the Creation Station.

The makerspace movement isn’t new, but it is changing the role of libraries in a community.

“It’s a place where people can engage with each other,” says Lisa Scroggins, Executive Director of the Natrona County Library.

“It moves a library away from being just a collection and focuses on a learning experience.”

Because of your support, the Wyoming Community Foundation made a grant to fund the makerspace. The space is free and open to the public. In fact, it’s the only public makerspace in Wyoming.

Patrons can bring in their own materials or use the materials provided. At Christmas time, handmade Christmas gifts are created. Leatherworking classes are offered each month. And recently, over 60 people attended an essential oils class.

“We’re doing a lot of community building,” says Betsy O’Neil, Adult Services Manager at the library.

She shares that patrons come into classes and become friends. They bounce ideas back and forth.

Libraries have always been about learning. But now people are working with tools and technology instead of just books. Sometimes, in the case of the mom-daughter duo, they’re getting a chance to make a difference.

“It’s a place where people make meaning,” says Lisa.

McMurry Fund Stats & Facts

Makerspace Stats & Facts

$1,555,736 granted since 2000
to support Wyoming libraries and librarians.

The fund has special emphasis
on supporting
continuing education
for librarians.

The first grant from this fund was
made to the Natrona County Library in
March 2001 to fund a customer service,
database system.

It’s the only public library makerspace in Wyoming.

Classes are free classes and open to the public each month.