The Northlake Public Library in Northlake, Illinois wants to give its patrons access to cutting-edge technology, specifically digital creation tools like a 3D printer. This sort of thing is well outside of their budget, however, so to raise funds, instead of a bake sale, bond initiative, or other traditional funding attempt, the library went to the cloud.
Given their plans, the crowd-based approach is very fitting. Through an Indigogo campaign, the library is hoping to raise $30,000 to outfit the library with an iMac, a drawing tablet, a Wacom Cintiq display, a fancy lightbox, and a 3D printer. They also want to erect a giant Incredible Hulk statue to make the kids happy.
The idea is a great one. First, it takes the project idea and its funding directly to the community – no political middle-men, no reason for anyone to feel ripped off because they got taxed for something they don’t agree with, and it’s democracy really in action since if the idea is not good for the community, the community won’t support it.
The creation angle is also a good one, as it will help encourage youngsters to get involved in real engineering and design rather than just reading about it. For many kids, something like this may be the reason they finally have a desire to go to the library without being coaxed.