This is an article written by Brian Edwards, Division Director of Fremont Libraries.
2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the Irvington Library! The Irvington Library first opened the current modular building 50 years ago in September of 1971. In honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Irvington Library, we are excited to announce the re-opening of our library with a new service model to reflect community input and an optimized, revised use of the library space.
The revised space will have a Children’s collection, holds pickup, and soon a 4,000 square foot makerspace that is free for our community to use. This makerspace was designed in alignment with the MIT philosophical model of “low floor, wide walls, high ceiling.” The space is designed to have a low floor to enter into STEAM learning, wide walls to allow an individual to create what they want, and a high ceiling to dream big.
The Irvington Library is now open Wednesday through Friday, from 12 – 6 pm. Visit our hours and location page for the latest updates.
How we got here
Alameda County Library (AC Library) created a Facility Master Plan to review our library spaces. Irvington Library was identified as a site where a focused service would better serve its community. Later in 2017 the Library started working with a FUSE Corps FUSE Fellow in collaboration with the City of Fremont and Fremont Unified School District (FUSD) to find pathways for students to build pathways to 21st century learning.
The AC Library Strategic Plan identified Innovation & Cultivation as one of its four areas of exploration. AC Library partnered with FUSE Corps, Berbawy Makers, and the Fremont student community to create a makerspace at the Fremont Main Library. This makerspace was called “Archimedes” in honor of the ancient philosopher. This Archimedes makerspace hosted Fix-It Clinics, IDEO Teacher’s Guild, intergenerational programs, and provided free access to technology for the community. This community interest reflected the need for an interactive learning space within our library system, and spaces for intergenerational volunteer activities.
AC Library began working on ways to expand the Archimedes service. We expanded our Facility Master Plan to discuss Archimedes expansion within Fremont. The Irvington Library had the highest percentage of children’s collection use of all our physical libraries, and also a large number of requests to host volunteer-led STEM programs. Through discussions with a community focus group and then the Fremont Library Advisory Commission, we moved forward in designing a makerspace within the Irvington Library.
We are looking forward to offering in-person use of our Archimedes areas in the future. The space will offer STEAM crafts, vinyl cutting, sewing machines, 3D printing, and a full-size robotics field that can be used by our local VEX and FTC First Tech Challenge robotics teams to test or present to the community. In 2022, we are also creating a curated Tool Lending Library here at Irvington with various Do-It-Yourself repair tools to borrow and tinker with at home.
What would you like to see in your Irvington Library?