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Fab Lab Benny

Fab Labs: The future is in libraries

Published on
September 1, 2017
With Fab Labs, public libraries are changing their vocation. They are no longer only places for people to look at books and socialize; they are now becoming spaces for fabrication and learning, in which users can launch individual or community projects.

In August 2016, the Bibliothèque Benny in Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce became the first public library in Québec to manage a Fab Lab, in collaboration with the Bureau de la ville intelligente et numérique.

Mutual assistance and manual work

Fab Labs (short for fabrication laboratory) were born in 2001 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston. In these digital design and fabrication workshops, you’ll find 3D printers, virtual reality glasses, vinyl cutouts, Canon reflex cameras, computer-controlled tools and computers with specialized software.

Création électronique au Benny Lab

First and foremost, a Fab Lab is a place that offers a different type of learning which promotes manual skills. Residents help one another and sharing is part of the concept. Enjoying teamwork is a prerequisite, while learning from peers is strongly encouraged.

Introduction to digital design

In Côte-des-Neiges, the Benny Lab offers three approaches: directed workshops, free periods supervised by a professional and monthly clubs about robotics, electronics, video games, 3D printing and digital art. If you have more ambitious personal projects, individual guidance is also available.

Recently, residents created the missing piece of a chess game and an oven knob that had broken. Others printed a plastic piece to repair a zipper or created a personalized video game. Learning about electronics, robotics and video games are also very important in the lab. There’s something for every age and every interest!