F.H. Cossitt Library to be reimagined

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Cossitt Library in 2014. Photo by Peter Dinella

Throughout the coming winter, the F.H. Cossitt Branch Library will close and undergo a transformation sure to impress all.

Granby Public Library’s mission is to support intellectual freedom and the right of individuals to read, learn and gather in a safe and welcoming environment. The libraries provide free access to diverse ideas, resources and experiences and strive to enhance the quality of life in our community by providing and encouraging lifelong learning through a variety of resources. Our motto is “Something for Everyone!”

In pursuit of meeting this mission, on Nov. 2 Cossitt Library will close to the public and begin its transformation into Granby’s “makerspace”—The Cossitt Creation Station.

How did this come about? The idea was presented to the library board, the Friends of Granby Public Libraries, the Granby Library Association, the board of selectman, and a variety of clubs in town including the Civic Club. The library staff has been talking about it with regular Cossitt users for the last two months. There was a unanimous response of support and excitement. All members of these groups felt the idea was exactly what Granby and the library needed and felt it was absolutely worth doing.

What about the current collection? The library is NOT getting rid of all the books. Many items will be moving to the main branch, but the upstairs at Cossitt will be a circulating library as it is now. It will still be a pickup spot for materials and the upstairs collection will include a small children’s collection, new fiction and nonfiction for adults, a small collection of DVDs and a specialty collection of materials that fit the themes of the lower level—DIY, being creative, innovative and collaborative.

What is a makerspace? A place where people meet to share creative interests, tinker with technology and learn to make things. Libraries across Connecticut and beyond, have established makerspaces to met the needs in the community, and we are excited to be bringing these opportunities to Granby!

What is involved? The lower level of the library will house various tools and equipment for creating, including sewing machines, 3d printers, a laser cutter and a digitization station to convert old home movies. We plan to have classes for patrons to learn about new equipment, and will create a space where the community can come together to help make their visions come to life.

This space will be geared toward older teens and adults but kids ages 8–14 will have opportunities to come and create with a parent/guardian. More makerspace opportunities for kids will be made available at the main branch as well.

Makerspaces have proven to provide communities with a plethora of benefits. Some include hands-on learning opportunities, a place for creative expression, community collaboration and inspiration, social skills and community involvement, entrepreneurship and career learning, promotion of diversity and individual ideas, assisting with creative affordability and decreasing the digital divide. All of this will be provided through grant funding, donations and fundraising efforts of our library groups.