MENASHA, Wis. (WFRV) – A local library is going beyond books and offering a host of new technology for guests to use and learn from.

On Thursday, Local 5 got a first-hand look at the new gadgets and gizmos made available to the public at the Menasha Public Library.

There to welcome Local 5 during their visit was Menasha Public Library Director, Brian Kopetsky.

“You can come down and do basically anything you want- within reason, of course- there’s so much to do it’s hard to figure out where to start,” shared Kopetsky.

Kopetsky shared that they were driven to open up this space because they wanted to offer visitors various learning experiences that extend well beyond the confines of a book.

“Right now we’re kind of going through a pivot where we still have all those things [books] and we still put a lot of work into making sure we have the best collection possible, but now we want to work directly with people and bring that learning and make it more hands-on,” explained Kopetsky.

Queue the SMITH Works Community Center.

Residents who visit the newly opened center will find a plethora of equipment ready for use. Equipment includes:

  • Chroma key screen along with lights and cameras
  • Green screen room
  • IMAC podcasting set up including a Rhodecaster Pro
    • This gadget is reportedly a great entry-level tool for people starting podcasts or recording music.
  • Computer set up including Microsoft Flight Simulator
  • Three types of 3-D printers
  • T-shirt printer
  • FSL Muse
    • This device is a laser cutter and engraver
  • Sewing machines

“We just want to make it as easy as possible for people to explore the things they want to learn about and make it fun. There’s a lot of play involved in the learning process here,” said Kopetsky.

The SMITH Works Center will be open Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.