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$5,000 Check Sparks Innovation at the Clayton Library!



Today, Clayton resident and self-proclaimed tinkerer Ken Taylor presented a GIANT $5,000 check to the Friends of the Library Clayton NC in hopes of inspiring the innovators of tomorrow! They then turned around and made the check out to us!

Since he was a kid, Ken has always been interested in technology and taking things apart to see how they work. So he wanted to do something in the community to encourage people to create, invent, and discover together. He approached Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library about what it would take to create a Maker Space – an area where kids, teen and even adults would be able to learn and experiment hands-on, using a variety of tools and materials. The space could include robotic and electronic kits, 3D printers, soldering irons, cardboard, sewing machines, Legos or even something called Bloxels, a collection of multi-colored plastic pegs that actually allow you to create video games with a digital app. HOW COOL!

“Like me when I was young, a lot of children and their parents don’t have a means to get involved in or engage with engineering, so this is a wonderful way to nurture and spark this interest and love in children,” said Ken. “I hope once the community gets a feel for what this is all about and the vision, they’ll join in. We have a lot of engineering and tech talent in this area – those resources are here. So, hopefully if those people realize that this collaboration and these resources are here at the library – this will really take off!”

Thanks to Ken’s generous donation, the Clayton Library is super excited to expand its programming as part of a growing Maker Movement. It’s a movement being powered by STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) – which is an exciting new way educators are transforming science learning by using open-ended exploration, play and real-world problem solving and design. The library will now be able to create and expand its mobile makerspace – a place where kids, teens and entrepreneurs can connect to empower each other to innovate! Library staff are now planning a Maker Faire for this fall – it will be a BIG celebration of invention, creativity, curiosity & hands-on learning! Keep checking here or at for more info!

And thank you, Ken – you’ve helped spark something awesome!

Also pictured (left to right): Friends of the Library members Jane Barnes, Linda Peepers, Bonnie Johnson, and Elizabeth Barber with Library Director Joy Garretson and Youth Services Librarian Laura McGuire.

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