Forget the Hardcovers: Modern Libraries Offer 3-D Printers, Laser Cutters

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Modern libraries are keeping up with the times and expanding way past books - to 3-D printers, laser cutters, robotics classes and much more.

"Libraries today are transforming," American Library Association President Sari Feldman said in an interview. "It's a very exciting time where it's so much more about what we do for people, than what we have for people."

About 98 percent of public libraries offer technology training and free Wi-Fi. But an increasing number of libraries are creating places like the "Maker Space" at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library in North Carolina, which offers access to equipment from sewing machines to vinyl cutters.

The library also holds training classes in software, 3-D modeling, coding and programming, robotics and more.

"We’re ... providing more interesting spaces to give people training and equipment to do a wide range of things," Mike Wozniak, Charlotte-Mecklenburg's Information Services Manager. "It's shown the public we're a place where you can create content,” said Feldman, “not just read and learn about ideas that other people have developed."