Kren Malone (Krystal Ruiz photo)

Students and visitors of all ages are gearing up for summer fun activities at Octavia Lab, a do-it-yourself makerspace at the L.A. Central Library. The Lab provides library cardholders free and unlimited access to state-of-the-art design, fabrication, preservation, photographic, and storytelling technologies. Octavia Lab honors acclaimed science fiction author Octavia E. Butler, who broke ground in the male-dominated genre.

Former Hyde Park Miriam Matthews Branch Sr. Librarian Kren Malone directs the L.A. Central Library: “A makerspace is a place for the public to teach themselves how to create new and interesting things. The goal here is ‘Creativity Within Reach,’ and Octavia Lab represents the future in where we are, where we can go with experimentation, and tinkering with new ideas,” she said.

LAPL Librarian III Lauren Kratz manages Octavia Lab Science, Technology and Patents Department: “When visitors and students of all ages come the Lab, they can reserve 3-D printers, audio and video editors, and podcast studios where you have the capability of recording audio projects for live streaming,” explained Kratz.

“You can create scenic photos and videos with a backdrop of your choice in our new photography studio. We provide cameras, lighting equipment and tripods, or you can just bring your own equipment.

Lauren Kratz (Krystal Ruiz photo)

“The DIY Digital Memory Lab can scan and transfer your photos, documents, Super 8 film, audio cassette, reel to reel audio tape, VHS tapes, vinyl records and more. And our vinyl cutter will create stickers or heat-transfer designs onto custom T-shirts, tote bags and others,” she added.

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Director Malone encourages community members to support their neighborhood library branches: “Our programs and services are free! We find the support to serve our public through various initiatives and fantastic people, like our friend’s groups throughout our branches. The library is a safe space to gather where exciting things happen. The primary goal here is lifelong learning. We welcome everyone,” she said.

And finally, from Jené D. Brown, LAPL director of Emerging Technologies and Collections: “In this era of rapidly advancing technologies and ever-evolving digital landscapes, the Los Angeles Public Library is committed to being at the forefront of innovation.”

“We embrace the changing times, and work to ensure our patrons have access to the latest digital collections and cutting-edge technologies. Our mission is to educate, empower and connect as we continue providing equal digital access,” Brown said in a statement.

Jene Brown (Courtesy photo)

Octavia Lab is located at the historic Central Library, 630 West 5th Street in downtown L.A. Tours are available during hours of operation and do not require a reservation. Use of the lab requires a library card in good standing, photo ID and a signed user agreement. Email [email protected], or call (213) 228-7150 to schedule a date and time for your visit.

The Los Angeles Public Library is celebrating 150 years of service to surrounding communities and neighborhoods. LAPL serves the largest metropolitan population of any public library system in the US and operates 73 locations throughout the city.  For more information, click Octavia Lab.