Erie County Public Library announces new service model and hours for Idea Lab




Jude Shingle

Erie, PA – Erie County Public Library announces a new service model and hours of operation for the Idea Lab at Blasco Library. The Idea Lab has been updated using patron feedback from the past two years of operations to shape the future delivery of services and classes.

The Idea Lab provides a safe, welcoming, and creativity-inspiring space where makers of all levels can use equipment to help them create products and learn skills. The space has something for everyone: from the casual crafter to the micro-business starter to the advanced tinkerer.

New Idea Lab Service Model

The Idea Lab recently reoriented its service model to better meet public demand. Over the past two years, patron feedback has been incredibly positive with Idea Lab use doubling in the last year.

With that growth has come the demand for more educational opportunities to learn how to use the equipment available in the Idea Lab and Media Lab.

The new changes made in 2020 will focus the Idea Lab as an educational space with the primary role of educating Erie County how to use the collection of tools available in the Makerspace and Media Lab. The community has been using this space for a wide variety of projects, from fixing broken household furniture to starting new businesses.

Three types of services a patron can expect in the Idea Lab:

Open Lab

  • Hours where patrons have open self-serve access to equipment they are certified to use
  • Staff offers assistance setting equipment up, but does not offer help learning or troubleshooting

Learn Lab

  • Hours where an educator is available to assist with learning equipment and offer limited troubleshooting of projects

Discovery Time

  • Staff leads a beginner level hands-on class to introduce equipment or skill

New hours listing

  • Monday – Wednesday: 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Thursday – Saturday: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Sunday: CLOSED

Event highlights

In addition, the Idea Lab will continue to offer programs from community partners in a wide variety of topics including photography, 3D modeling, sewing, jewelry making, electronics, video production and more.

Monday Makers is a program that runs each Monday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and features a different local artist maker, or hobbyist each week. Upcoming February programs include the following:

  • Monday, Feb. 3: Master Woodcarver Demonstration with Fredy Mallqui
  • Monday, Feb. 10: Tour of the Maritime Museum Woodshop with Niagara Shipwright Adam Stanisz
  • Monday, Feb. 24: Bookbinding Demonstration and Workshop with Grounded Printshop

All Mondays in March will be a series of Cosplay workshops with John Fleming featuring tools in the Idea Lab that can help you make your costume amazing: 3D Printers, sewing machines, vinyl cutters, vacuum forming, and more!

Community Access Media classes offer a wide range of trainings that help you access and use our Digital Media Lab.

We also have a variety of Maker Programs featuring classes on how to use the Cricut Maker for a wide range of projects from glass etching to iron-ons; soldering for electronics; jewelry making and design.


Download PDF of media release