Arts & Culture News

Dallas Public Library Staged to Open Podcasting Studio, Sewing Rooms and Other Maker Spaces

Emily Jackson
The Dallas Puiblic Library is opening three maker spaces this weekend.
Now is the time to get your creative projects off the ground. The Dallas Public Library is opening three maker spaces for creative types and novices to launch storytelling projects, make their own clothing and preserve their family history.

Dubbed Creative Spaces, the three studios, a Story Center, Fiber Arts Workroom and Heritage Lab, will be located at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library and open to the public Saturday, Sept. 14, during a grand opening celebration.

“We really didn’t want to try to create spaces that are all things to all people,” says Melissa Dease, who helped launch the studios. “We wanted to focus on our strengths, and these three Creative Spaces are specific to the subject specialty of the floors where they are located.”

“The maker movement has been a big topic in libraries for several years, but we’ve never been able to figure out a way to do it at Dallas Public Library that makes sense for our community.” — Melissa Dease

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The Story Center is home to podcasting studios, video editing bays and writing equipment. One of the best perks is that Dallas residents now have free access to the entire Adobe Creative Cloud suite of programs. That includes Adobe’s graphic design platforms Photoshop and Illustrator, Premiere for video editing, Audition for audio, InDesign for document design and other CC software.

It’s all housed on the third floor equipped with everything from Mac computers to voice recorders and typewriters. Tell your story any way you want, baby.

The Fiber Arts Workroom is a textiles paradise, where you can make your own clothes with vintage and contemporary patterns for men and women on one of many new sewing machines. The space is stocked with free, limited-supply fabric and yarn. Yep, there is plenty of time to knit scarves for those Christmas gifts.

The Heritage Lab has already sparked major interest from genealogy and history buffs. New state-of-the-art scanning and recording equipment will allow patrons to digitize all their family memories, from scrapbooks to home movies. You can preserve photographs, negatives, slides, VHS, audio cassettes, camcorders and even floppy disks.

Dallas residents can reserve a two-hour block of time in each space by email or in person after a short training video. Maker spaces aren’t new ideas in North Texas. Libraries in Fort Worth, Arlington and Frisco have creative studios for specific groups. Dallas has long daydreamed of its library Creative Spaces. After the central branch considered how each space was being used, the idea came to life.

“The maker movement has been a big topic in libraries for several years, but we’ve never been able to figure out a way to do it at Dallas Public Library that makes sense for our community,” Dease says.

The library hopes to serve many needs for many people. The program aims to not only inspire a new hobby or skill but also help job seekers and freelancers.

“We plan to utilize equipment to help people be more prepared for job seeking, like with tailoring clothes for job interviews and recording mock job interviews,” says librarian Kristen Calvert. “This is another way we are offering limitless possibilities to our customers.”