The Fayetteville Public Library announced Tuesday (Sept. 7) the opening of the J.B. and Johnelle Hunt Family Center for Innovation. The library’s newest expansion is more than 5,000 square feet and provides access to various technology and educational resources.
Offerings include audio and video suites, a fabrication and robotics lab, a simulation lab with five simulators and virtual reality studio, according to a news release. The use of the spaces is free, but several of the areas require users to complete library-approved orientations before being able to reserve them.
“The Center for Innovation expands upon the concept of literacy beyond reading, writing and arithmetic,” said David Johnson, executive director of the Fayetteville Public Library. “It now includes fabrication, robotics, digital, business, audio, visual and workforce development literacy.
“As the community’s needs evolve, so too must its library,” he added. “The Center for Innovation can meet people where they are, fill a gap between those who have access to opportunities and those who do not. Patrons of all ages can be introduced to a new technology or skill that will give them a leg up when they leave Fayetteville Public Library. We aim to be a launching pad to propel people into the next stage of their journey.”
The library has added orientation classes for the fabrication and robotics lab and the audio and video suites. Link here to sign up. Many of the September classes are full, but a waitlist is available.
“The number of projects and dreams that have the potential to become a reality in this space is immense,” said Melissa Taylor, manager of the Center for Innovation. “We have people in here who have had an idea for a long time and now they have a way to execute it, and then we have those who have just come in to learn about all of the tools and are designing in real time as their knowledge grows.”
A $5 million gift from the J.B. and Johnelle Hunt family in October 2020 supports the Center for Innovation and the Gathering Glade. The family name is commemorated on both of the spaces.