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Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

The Student News Site of St. Edward's University

Hilltop Views

Munday Library highlights innovation on the Hilltop

Marlee Claes / Hilltop Views
The Munday Library Innovation Lab is a new addition to campus, allowing students a creative and educational outlet.

St. Edward’s Innovation Lab, located at Munday Library,is one of the library’s newest initiatives. The hands-on activity center opened last spring and is focused on flexible and authentic collaboration for students.

Brittney Johnson, the library’s curriculum and instruction developer, jump-started the program. Following engagement trends of higher education as a whole, Johnson introduced the idea of a makerspace to the library. Makerspaces are areas where creativity and innovation are cultivated through participation. Typically geared at students, makerspaces give more opportunities for creativity and learning to the communities they are in. When thinking about starting a makerspace on campus, the library seemed like the perfect spot. 

“The library is for everyone,” Johnson said. “My focus is on creating a space that’s inclusive. No matter your major, no matter your interests, we have a space for you.”

The Innovation Lab really got the ball rolling last semester by hosting events exploring topics like coding, circuitry, pixel art and a series of sewing workshops.

“Through the Innovation Lab, the library is providing opportunities to learn, think and create in a way that they wouldn’t necessarily do within their major, but are still important,” Johnson said. “The lab serves as a fun and relaxing space for students to have a creative outlet and build community.”

Students admiring the collection of photos from previous Innovation Lab workshops. (Marlee Claes / Hilltop Views)

Freshman Alexis Hicks attended her first event at the Innovation Lab this semester, a bullet journaling workshop. 

“I got a new experience and a new skill,” Hicks said. “I took the first step of pushing myself to try new things and meet new people.”

Every program at the Innovation Lab provides all the necessary materials along with guidance from library staff. This ensures that every student who is interested in the lab’s activities can participate without worrying about cost or lack of experience. 

Freshman Roony Puga has attended a few events at the Innovation Lab this year including a sewing workshop, an origami workshop and, most recently, a bullet journaling workshop. 

“I get to fuel my creativity,” Puga said. “(Through the Innovation Lab) I found that while origami isn’t for me, sewing isn’t as scary as I thought.” 

Puga plans to continue their sewing journey in the future outside of the lab.

Munday Library has recently displayed photos from earlier workshops.

This semester, the Innovation Lab plans to do even more programs, hoping to reach a wider scope of interests; these programs can be found on the events page of Munday Library’s website. The sewing series will be making a comeback this semester joined by new programs such as board game making, quilting and arpilleras making.

Johnson and other library staff are excited for the future possibilities of the Innovation Lab and can’t wait to see it grow. 

“I would love to get more consistent participation,” Johnson said. “And give the students who are coming regularly the opportunity to lead workshops and come up with ideas for things.”

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