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Bahr manages ‘The Studio,’ library’s makerspace

MADISON – As Makerspace Specialist at Madison Public Library, Nora Bahr wants residents to feel excitement about learning new skills and building items they can use and enjoy.

“A makerspace is a place where people with shared interests can gather to create, build and make. Makerspaces often involve technology but really they can be as high tech or low tech as needed to fit the community’s interests,” Bahr said.

Madison’s makerspace, called The Studio, blends high-tech equipment and more traditional crafting and hobby tools. “I’m responsible for equipment maintenance, training people to use materials and designing projects and programs that interest and engage the community,” Bahr said.

“The makerspace movement believes anybody can make anything — and everybody should,” Bahr said. “I love the spirit of creativity and resourcefulness inherent in the makerspace.”

Patrons have been enthusiastic about the 3D printers. Several regulars are creating 3D objects for their home, jobs and just for fun. In addition, a CNC Mill cuts and carves into wood, acrylic and metal. Individuals use Cricut and Silhouette machines help with crafting projects from paper, vinyl and fabric. Two sewing machines and a serger are available.

In 2015, Bahr started volunteering at Monrovia Public Library. She then was hired in Madison as a clerk before moving to Birmingham and working at Hoover’s library. This year, her family returned to Madison and she resumed working as clerk.

At Auburn University, she earned a bachelor’s degree in English Literature with a minor in technology history. Currently, she is studying library and information sciences at the University of Alabama.

Sarah Sledge, Branch Manager at Madison Public Library, has made the most impact on Bahr during her career. “Sarah has encouraged me to grow as a librarian and as a person and given me the tools to do so,” Bahr said. “Sarah encouraged me to begin my master’s program and has been very helpful in the continuation of my education.”

“Sarah is a wonderful, passionate librarian who deeply cares about the Madison library and the community it serves,” Bahr said.

Bahr’s husband, Lee Isham, works as an aerospace engineer at ULA in Decatur. They live in Madison.

Her hobbies are reading (“of course”), quilting and craft projects. Interested in cooking, she challenges herself with baking. Her most ambitious baking projects include a friend’s wedding cake, an ice-cream cake with homemade ice cream and a 12-layer Smith Island cake.

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