Technology and Innovation Center unBound Opens in Meridian
A library branch with more screens than books? That's the look and feel of the new technology and innovation center unBound - the latest location for Meridian Library District in the heart of Downtown. It's about changing how ideas are brought to life.
Library District director Gretchen Caserotti perfectly summed up the vision of the new location - starting with its name.
“The definition of 'unbound' is 'not bound or tied up....When most people think of a public library, they think of books, but this space is more than books. UnBound provides a space, connections and access to resources for entrepreneurs and small businesses with its hardware, software and technology expertise.”
The mantra of unBound is a call to action - come make, learn and design your creative ideas. Among the technology available to help entrepreneurs and small business owners do just that are 3D printers, a CNC machine, laptops, Adobe CS6 software, and HP's newest creative workstation Sprout. But while it's labeled as a technology lab, it's also aiming to be a hub for knowledge sharing by hosting classes, meetings and programs to guide creators in experimenting with emerging technology and to develop their ideas. Among the classes in the works are Game and App Design Workshops, Website Development classes, Family Make It days, and 3D Design and Printing Trainings.
unBound is the latest facility to open its doors to support creators and makers among us, and is also an example of what can happen when multiple organizations contribute to a common goal. The Meridian Library District, Meridian Development Corporation and City of Meridian all came together to bring unBound into reality.
Here's what you'll find in the space (a retrofitted former bank building on 713 N. Main Street in Downtown Meridian)
Conference Center - A small room with 4-6 computers loaded with high-end software for web, graphic and video design. The room is equipped to allow small classes or be reserved for meetings requiring video conferencing.
Printer Cove – 3D printers, CNC machines, color copiers and more business equipment that is out-of-reach for the everyday patron to access.
Business Nook - Offers supplies and services to support small business owners and entrepreneurs not currently being provided downtown such as a color copier (small jobs), banner printer for large size jobs, laminators and more.
Multi-Purpose Open Space for Public Use - An open area with modular, moveable furniture that can be arranged in a variety of configurations for classes, larger events, discussion groups, meetings and general co-working space for freelancers or folks who work from home. There is a cart with laptops for general library internet access or use in classes and carts with other digital equipment individuals may use when digitizing their personal collections. A small library collection of business and technology books is available on moveable display shelves and patrons may select to pick up holds at this location.
Sound Studio - A recording studio for podcasting, simple music production, or business eLearning recordings.
Like all great ideas, unBound will continue to evolve and grow based on the demand and interests of the community. If you have a library card from the across the Valley, you're welcome at unBound. For now access is free, outside of renting the full space, though organizers are waiting to see how usage and demand grows. For more information, sign up for their newsletter via http://mldunbound.org, or go check it out in person and chat up Digital Services Librarian Nick Grove who's overseeing the branch.