Marston Science Library will soon allow students to check out not only books but tools.
Sewing machines, drills, levels, audio equipment for podcasting, laptop chargers, 360-degree video cameras and 3D printing tools are some new available gizmos to check out.
A date has not been set for when the tools will be available to check out, UF science librarian Sara Gonzalez said.
The purpose is to provide creative minds at UF with equipment that can be unaffordable on a student’s budget, Gonzalez said.
“It’s the idea that students can come to the library and check out the things they need rather than buying them,” Gonzalez said.
Henry Nguyen, a member of the Marston Student Advisory Board, provided Gonzalez with a wishlist of tools for the library.
Sam Putnam, assistant university librarian, said Marston is working to dispel the myth that labs and equipment on campus are reserved for STEM students.
“I think the tool library is an excellent opportunity for any student to get involved in the process of making things,” Putnam said.
Gonzalez, Putnam and Jean Bossart, associate university librarian, are partners in the project. They opened the shipment of sewing machines Wednesday.
One of the machines will be available to take home. The other will stay in the library where staff can assist students with sewing their items.
“I’ve realized probably a lot of people have never used a sewing machine before,” Gonzalez said. “If people just want to sew something small and not haul (a sewing machine) home, they can bring in a shirt or something into the library.”
Levana Osher, a UF chemical engineering sophomore, grew up with sewing as her hobby.
Osher, 19, first sewed small decorative pillows, then moved onto quilts and blankets for family members and worked her way up to bigger items like patches and shirts.
“I wouldn’t necessarily use it for my major, but we do a lot of stuff outside of our majors just for fun,” Osher said.
Osher said the concept of a diverse tool library works well with Marston’s central location on campus and its plethora of study spaces.
“I think it’s good that we have that chance to have it so close to our study areas as well where if we need a break, we can go ahead and do something else,” she said. “I feel like if it’s easier for everyone else, why not provide a range of different things?”