News | 10 June 2021
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Let your creativity flow at Waitohi's Makerspace

When you think of a library, you usually just picture a big room of books – but that only scratches the surface of what the Waitohi community hub at Johnsonville offers.

Tucked away in the corner of the library is our Makerspace, or 'The Hive' as it is known.

A hand holding up a business card for The Hive at Johnsonville Library in the Waitohi Hub, detailing the services it offers which includes 3D printing, sewing, laser cutting, and sound recording, with the working space in behind the card.

Opened in December 2019 by Wellington City Council, The Hive offers a range of services, including laser cutting, 3D printing, a full recording studio, a sewing station, and arts and crafts material. 

Helping people make the most of these services are the dynamic duo, Team Leader Libraries and Community Spaces Justin Hoenke, and Makerspace Specialist Jamie Boorman. 

“My job is overseeing two libraries and four community centres, but I have a specific focus on helping the Makerspace grow to its fullest potential,” Justin says. 

“The original idea for the Makerspace started way back in the planning stages of the Waitohi community hub. It was to give the visitors of the library a different experience and access to more tools and resources.  

“Libraries are about sharing so why not share recording studios? Why not share 3D printers? It’s all about sharing and learning.”

Jamie’s daily tasks includes setting up 3D printing and laser cutting jobs, and welcoming people into the Makerspace. 

“I want to help people get the most out of the machinery. We offer a workspace. If you have a project you want to work on and you don’t have space at home you can come here and do it.” 

With a wide variety of equipment available to the roughly 6000 monthly visitors to the hub, Jamie says the sky is the limit. 

“The laser cutter can be used for engravings, laser cuts and putting drawings you’ve made onto a slab of wood. The recording studio has piano, guitar, bass, synthesisers, and a full recording suite. People have come in and made EPs and full albums which is amazing.  

“We also have some very simple CAD software that will allow you to make different items of your own design and use our 3D printer to print them off (10 cents per gram). You can take it home to finish or you can paint them at the Makerspace.”

One of the more popular parts of the Makerspace is the sewing station complete with four sewing machines and an overlocker that are free to use. 

Jamie says they offer the thread and a little bit of expertise, though sewing is still very much a developing skill for the team. 

“To be honest, we’re all still learning how to sew. It wasn’t a skill I thought I’d ever use at work.” 

The team at the Makerspace is always looking to help people out. 

“Whether you have an idea for a 3D print, you want something cut onto wood, we can help with just about any type of project you are working on,” Justin says. 

Jamie invites everyone to come and see what Makerspace has to offer.