Tomball Innovation Lab Set to Open Early 2020
TOMBALL, TX — Harris County Public Library has announced plans for a transformative new resource for the Tomball community: a public Innovation Lab. The Tomball Innovation Lab will be a public Maker Lab offering advanced technologies and services that will allow area inventors, artists, entrepreneurs, and other creatives to design and produce a wide range of projects. Anyone from the community who wishes to learn will have experts on hand to help them build their skills.
Harris County Public Library (HCPL), Lone Star College-Tomball (LSC-Tomball), and Harris County Precinct 4 began with the idea to provide the resources that library customers were requesting and HCA-Houston Healthcare Tomball, Greater Tomball Area Chamber of Commerce, City of Tomball, Tomball ISD and Tomball Economic Development Corporation quickly joined as partners to work collaboratively on this initiative.
The development of the Innovation Lab in the Tomball area will give the community a new, public venue for creative people of all levels, ages and backgrounds to come together to collaborate with expert support from the library.
“As new technology arrives, we look at how we can use it to engage the public. The Innovation Lab will help foster enthusiasm for learning, provide a hands-on making experience and empower the public to become active creators and innovators,” said Edward Melton, Harris County Public Library Director. Precinct 4 Commissioner R. Jack Cagle added that he “expects the Innovation Lab’s benefits will quickly become apparent to area residents, educators and businesses.”
The Lab will be developed with community stakeholder input and seeks to engage partners in this collaborative project. “Partnerships like the one that produced the Tomball Innovation Lab provide a perfect example of how governments can partner more efficiently to offer the resources and the programs our constituents so badly need,” said Commissioner Cagle. “These partnerships are allowing people to see libraries from a different perspective. This is a trend for libraries across the country, but HCPL is really taking advantage of the opportunities to work with community organizations to engage the public,” says Melton.
The Innovation Lab will be located in the LSC-Tomball Community Library on the LSC-Tomball campus. It “is perfect example of why the Lone Star College-Tomball Community Library partnership is such an asset for the Tomball community,” says Lone Star College-Tomball President, Dr. Lee Ann Nutt. “By sharing spaces and resources, HCPL and LSC-Tomball are able to provide extraordinary experiences to both community members and students. I’m thrilled we will be able to share these tools and this space with everyone we serve.”
Starter equipment for the lab will include a 3D printer, CNC machines such as a laser cutter to help creators fabricate their projects, robotics and coding tools to develop computational thinking and logic, and Oculus Go virtual reality headsets to expose and inspire new experiences. As the lab grows, additional tools will be added, guided by community input.
Tomball residents of all ages, LSC-Tomball students, faculty and staff, Tomball ISD students, and teachers will be able to take advantage of the Tomball Innovation Lab once it is completed. Janna Hoglund, LSC-Tomball Community Library Director says, “We are so grateful for the input and support we have received for this exciting new initiative and with continued development with community partners, we are looking forward to creating a space that is a true community collaborative.”
The Innovation Lab is scheduled to open early 2020.