KCLS to celebrate Grand Opening of its first Makerspace

Bellevue Library ideaX Makerspace offers free STEAM education to more than 1.4 million residents

Any King County Library System (KCLS) cardholder will be able to create electronic circuits, make a robot, learn to code, craft with a 3-D pen, mix up a beat for a song, or learn other new technical or creative skills at the new Bellevue Library ideaX Makerspace starting Saturday, April 14.

The KCLS Bellevue Library ideaX Makerspace, a community-gathering place to spark imagination, learn collaboratively, develop skills and explore emerging technologies, helps KCLS fulfill its commitment to the many communities it serves through its Strategic Focus “to create opportunities through meaningful connections.”

A festive, ribbon-cutting celebration and self-guided tour will mark the grand opening of the ideaX Makerspace beginning at 10:30am at the Bellevue Library, located at 1111 110th Ave NE in Bellevue, Wa.

To celebrate this landmark occasion, former NASA Astronaut Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger will be part of the program as keynote speaker, following comments by additional honored guests, including ideaX Makerspace donors, community leaders and KCLS staff.

Library guests will then have their first access to try out new STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) activities as the ideaX Makerspace staff reveals demos and activities from 11:30am–3pm for attendees to try out on their own. Please visit our ideaX Makerspace event page (www.kcls.org/makerspace) to read the full program and activity list.

“With ideaX, King County Library System is taking innovation to the next level, offering patrons of all ages the opportunity to explore, create and test the limits of their imagination with hands-on activities ranging from virtual reality to artificial intelligence,” said Lisa Rosenblum, KCLS Library Director. “The Bellevue Library ideaX Makerspace augments other services offered at the Library, and is just one more way KCLS is delivering relevant programs and services that are responsive to the changing needs and interest of our patrons.”

As KCLS’ largest, public building space offering the most flexibility and opportunity to construct a makerspace for our patrons, the Bellevue Library was selected as the location for the first KCLS Makerspace due to the high number of visitors it attracts among our 48 community libraries, and its close proximity to the Bellevue Transit Center. This makes the Makerspace more easily accessible to patrons across KCLS’ entire service area. The ideaX Makerspace is located on the first floor of the Bellevue Library, replacing the children’s area, which is transitioning to a larger, more child-friendly space on the Library’s third floor.

The design concept of the 3,000 square foot ideaX Makerspace was conceived as a place for exploration and learning. A ‘pixel’ concept was used throughout to support the creative use of both units and materials to make complex and unique inventions, artistic works and projects. Digital print media colors of cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK) were used to support the concept of pixels as technology plays a huge role in the activities happening within the space.

“We feel honored to partner with KCLS on the next evolution of library services,” said Architect Ruth Baleiko of Miller Hull Partnership, who designed the Bellevue Library ideaX Makerspace. “We are excited to see the ideaX Makerspace inspire and foster the imaginations of the community.”

Another ideaX Makerspace is scheduled to open in the Federal Way Library in 2019.

Please visit the Bellevue Library ideaX Makerspace at the Bellevue Library, or online at www.kcls.org/maker-space for additional information.

About King County Library System
Founded in 1942, the King County Library System (KCLS) is one of the busiest library systems in the country. Serving the communities of King County in Washington State, KCLS currently has 49 libraries and more than 700,000 cardholders. In 2017, KCLS welcomed more than 10 million visitors, and King County residents checked out nearly 21 million items, including more than 4.7 million digital eBooks and audiobooks.


King County Library System Media Contact: Julie Acteson, 425.369.3273, jbacteson@kcls.org