National Central Library created an Open Lab (address: 14 F, 4 Xiushan Street, Zhongzheng District, Taipei) in order to expand its services to a greater age range and to meet the needs of makers and teenagers. On November 19, 2022 at 3 pm in the afternoon it held the opening ceremony and formally opened its doors to the public. Open Lab provides a space for exploration, learning, experience, creation, and sharing. It boasts a variety of different creative research spaces and provides an array of software and hardware tools. The public can bring their creative ideas to life, enjoy many types of experiences, and display the multilayered values of creative works. This is the new base in Taiwan for bringing together reading and various creative endeavors.
Ministry of Education Administrative Deputy Minister Teng-Chiao Lin shared some remarks, during which he said that the Ministry of Education has been promoting innovative teaching in the schools, as well as emphasizing the need for social education. National Central Library’s Arts and Audiovisual Center took advantage of the facilities switch to morph into Open Lab. Its diverse service offerings can encourage more people to utilize its technology equipment to get involved in making and creating. The public can make use of the space and equipment to bring their ideas to life, to create multilayered values, and increase Taiwan’s competitive edge. The Center’s success model can be a reference point for municipal and county public libraries wishing to create a maker space of their own.
Innovative services: A lowering of service age, lending services opened, operation hours extended
Director-General Shu-hsien Tseng stated that the lab is different than National Central Library’s main facilities. The age appropriateness was dropped from 16 to 6, and if those younger than 6 are accompanied by a parent, they can also enter the Lab. The Lab provides not only language learning books, comics, and audio-visual materials for reading and use in the library but also has purchased travel literature and books on creative techniques; it also has lending services, so patrons can take the books home with them. In terms of space, there is a digital creations area, a comic creation area, a crafts area, wood working area, individual and parent/child live-stream studios, group practice rooms, group discussion rooms, an exhibition area, learning commons, and a creative research space. It also provides 3D printing, illustration software and hardware, sewing machines, heat presses, wood working tools, laser engraving machines, and live-streaming and audio-visual post-production studios. In response to the needs of specific age groups, it is open until 9 pm on Tuesdays through Saturdays, which is later than the art center or the audio-visual center.