The East Baton Rouge Parish Library has done a lot of work to develop resources for the “do-it-yourself” residents it serves, said Dominic Bordelon, who works in computer services at the Main Library on Goodwood Boulevard.
With the addition of several 3-D printers at the Main Library, it became clear to them that the majority of people using the technology were using it for DIY projects, said Michael Brandyberry, project coordinator with the library.
“A lot of the projects we print are pretty clearly parts of some kind,” Brandyberry said, adding that 3-D printers are a great way to make sure an item fits correctly before having it machined elsewhere.
The technology has made all kinds of entrepreneurship more feasible, the two said, and the library is making changes to meet those community needs as they arise.
The library offers 3-D printing software basics classes periodically, Bordelon said, and that goes hand-in-hand with the Arduino kits, available for checkout at the Main Library.
The official definition of Arduino, according to its website, arduino.cc, is “an open-source electronics platform based on easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for anyone making interactive projects.”
In practical terms, Bordelon said, it’s an electronics system with basic tools that allows users to build customized electronics projects.
One example, Bordelon said, would be to build a project and code language that would tell a watering system to turn on or off based on the readings of a humidity sensor or tell a light to come on once a certain level of darkness is reached.
The full capabilities of each kit depends on what’s in them, Bordelon said. While the library’s collection is not the most sophisticated that is available to the public, it is enough to give library patrons a good idea about how the setup works, how to use it and whether to invest in their own.
“It’s a good way for parents to check it out before they commit to buying one for their kids” or for themselves, Bordelon said.
The library also offers classes on using Arduino for ages 12 and older, he said, the next of which will be July 27 at 5 p.m. and Aug. 5 at 8 p.m.
For the adult patrons at the library, there is one workshop you must be 21 or older to attend — the beer home brewing class, scheduled for July 25 at 2:30 p.m., said Adam St. Pierre, transliteracy librarian and beer enthusiast.
The East Baton Rouge Library and LA Home Brew Supply Company have been collaborating on the classes, which don’t actually involve any alcohol, he said, at least not while its on library grounds.
“We do actually brew a batch in class, but the alcohol comes later,” he said, adding that the classes are free.
Home Brewing teaches the origins of beer, the ingredients, styles and recipes, and is a collaboration between the library and LA Homebrew, a Baton Rouge-based homebrewing supply shop.
To register for any class at the library, visit the branch at 7711 Goodwood Blvd., or call (225) 231-3700.