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Find Your More at Frisco Public Library

Find Your More at Frisco Public Library

When you think “library,” do you think of dusty shelves in a dusty space, staffed by a cranky librarian whose entire vocabulary consists of different ways to shush? Think again.

Frisco Public Library (FPL) has turned these, and many other stereotypes, upside down. Is the library still the place to go when you’re looking for the latest bestseller? Yes. Should the library be the first place that comes to mind when faced with a book report or the need for public computers? Absolutely. The library is still the educational component of a municipality. What’s changed is the “more.” FPL, simply put, offers more.

It was 2014 when FPL first responded to the community’s thirst for cutting-edge technology. The public and the media arrived in droves to watch in awe as the 3D printer translated ideas and filament into assorted light-weight, low-cost realities. The ability to work with other materials came with the introduction of the CNC Mill with which users can shape and engrave MDF, plastic, acrylic, or wood.

Another hands-on tool, Maker Kits, empower families to share the thrill of technology. These kits check out for two weeks at a time and let members explore robotics, circuitry, coding, and much more in the comfort of their living rooms.

Your more depends on who you are and what you want. FPL is committed to innovation that empowers guests to realize existing dreams and challenges them to dream even bigger.

Jon wanted a better bicycle seat. One that didn’t lead to the numbness and discomfort of “saddle pain.” He was convinced that a drop in the saddle and an adjustable bladder would let any cyclist sit with sit bones, not soft tissue, supporting the body’s weight. The prototype he designed on FPL’s 3D printer was the backbone of the project that led to the Reprieve bicycle seat which has earned rave reviews throughout the industry. 

The Reprieve in its early stages

“I love that the Frisco Library supports small businesses like ours by providing the 3D printing and CNC machines,” says Jon. “They’ve been terrific for building models at an affordable price when we’re in the prototype process. These machines were essential in helping us bring a product to market at thousands less than using the normal channel.”

FPL is committed to providing access to the latest, greatest tech along with available training on its use. Recent tech debuts include the 3D scanner; the CNC Wire Bender; and an impressive 90 watt laser cutter. The Library also offers access to a wide variety of high-end software including Photoshop, Illustrator, Autodesk Inventor, and others. For those who are intrigued but wary, a wide range of classes are available. No reservations or supplemental fees are required. Simply show up ready to learn. See the current schedule and find more information at friscolibrary.com/makerspace. From there, you can go as far as your imagination allows.

Farshid’s curiosity got him started with the 3D printer.  An engineer by trade and hobby, he manages his businesses from the Library’s first floor.  He used to use drawings when training employees on the proper use of intricate parts. It occurred to him that a 3-dimensional replica would make the training and learning processes much easier. Enter the 3D printer. Problem solved. When a rental property’s address was damaged, he took advantage of the CNC Mill Machine’s precision and replaced the numbers with ease.

“When I see a problem, I want to solve it,” Farshid explains, “and having these maker tools available and so cost effective makes that a lot easier.”

Diane and Farshid with Beating Heart

Real inspiration struck when Farshid was faced with a huge challenge—his wife’s Christmas present. It couldn’t be ordinary, wouldn’t be store bought, had to be amazing. Having given his heart to Diane when they married, he did it again—this time as a 3D model heart, with an integrated motor, which actually beats. You can watch Farshid’s video of the creative process and finished product at http://bit.ly/2sAtJGi.

Do grownups have all the fun? Of course not! FPL is committed to enriching lives from cradle to grave. Curiosity leads to learning. Learning leads to innovation. Knowledge, skills, and the imagination to appreciate and utilize them lead to success. That thirst for learning starts, well, right about at birth.

Youngsters and the parents focused on helping them realize their potential find their more on the second floor. The Ready to Read Railroad offers more than 600 square feet of interactive learning to jump start young minds. It is the only space of its kind in the state of Texas. Age-segmented story time classes offer staff-led opportunities to sing, read, play, and learn for kids from birth through age six with their parents or caregivers.

The school-aged set discovers its more by reaching beyond the 3 R’s. Whether broadening their understanding of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) with take-home STEM backpacks, getting hands-on with technology in the Tech Teens class, or meeting a literary role model at a visiting author event, there is always more for kids.

FPL partnered with the Frisco Economic Development Corp (FEDC) to present a Business Boot Camp geared toward teaching teens how to take businesses from concept to reality. Participants in this innovative workshop gained instruction in concept development, marketing, and logistics. Then, the students competed in a “Shark Tank” type of format. The winner was awarded the opportunity to present his refined idea to the EDC board at one of its meetings and plans to move forward with developing his business idea. That kind of enriching experience represents a whole new level of more.

There are many experiences available through the library that are available elsewhere, but only FPL offers all these opportunities through one place. Again, it’s all about the more.  

Find your more at friscolibrary.com.