Becoming TechCentral: Cleveland Public Library

Anastasia Diamond-Ortiz, Knowledge Manager

CJ Lynce, Tech Central Manager

Olivia Hoge, Lorain Branch Manager

Cleveland Public LIbrary

Connect kit. — someone in the audience is going to play with one during the presentation.

Tech Central at the Cleveland Public Library is a downtown destination.

Downtown library had absolute chaos before tech central.

60 public computers in 2 buildings/9 locations and 2 sign-up stations = chaos

TechCentral was developed as a way to come out of this chaos.

Different use cases for each space — developed personas to understand users in different zones.

Providing a wide-range of tech in a shared space.

1. Learning space: expert help in a friendly setting, not in a small space or classroom style. Learner & teacher on equal footing. Smartboard station in that area. Small informal and formal instruction happening there.

2. Play space: where people could touch and play with Kindles, 3D printing, iPads, and others. Space to delight their users, and show them the latest and greatest. Try something new!

3. Connect space

4. Create space: adaptive stations, Mac and Linux machines

5. Getting things done: resume, check email, job applications. Chunk of time and a robust computer to actually do this. Get out of people’s way and give them time and space to work.

Tech Central is not just a place, a space. It’s a mantra to provide service to people. Right team for the job. Recruited people who embodied the spirit of tech central. Curious, committed people work there.

Tech Toy Box — lending device program.

People want to learn how to use these devices.

myCloud: personalized devices that can be checked out.

One of the first services provided in Tech Central when it opened was 3D printing. 5 cents a gram of the plastic. No one piece printed has been more than $5. Most cost between 1-3. Creating objects to print isn’t easy (3D Cad, Autodesk, etc)

Thingiverse — Wikipedia of stuff

They want to use this experience to inspire people to learn and design their own 3D models. Minecraft gateway, possibly.

Maker Kit — kids can use these to create things.

Learning about circuits.

Monotron device.

Maker Labs: so patrons can create something and have a takeaway at the end of the day.

First session? Custom 3D cookie cutters ( — patrons were helping each other, creation AND collaboration going on!

Panaromic image makers (still images/video)

VIdeo slideshows.


Font making labs

Patrons at all skill levels can participate in these labs.

Digital graffiti art on a wall in the library: Need: Laptop; projector; web camera; laser pointer

Laser Tag 2.0 instructions

Cleveland Mini Maker Faire

Tech Toy Box v3 —

In House Use Devices (Id left with staff members; 3 hrs usage)

When you check out tier 1 devices, you’ll get points that will allow you to check out tier 2 devices, and eventually check out tiered at-home checkouts. Levels used to develop trust with patrons and the library.

Tier 1: SD Video cameras; gps units — small, simple devices

Tier 2: eReaders

Tier 3: Internet tablets

Learning how the patrons create is amazing.

Library is going to see how this roll-out works.

Future programs: electronics soldering lab; Programming with Rapsberry Pi & Ruby language.

Future space: dedicated creative space. Current space not working out.

Ex. Ability to Record music using library-provided instruments & recording equipment? WOW! Many people don’t have instruments in their house anymore

Library wants to replicate tech central idea into various branches in the library system, in different areas.

Are there things people can’t print? Library policy, certain objects won’t be printed.