Last fall, Illinois State University senior Katrina Miley stumbled across a video on YouTube. This might not seem very unusual, except for the fact that the video explained the rules to a 4,500-year-old board game called The Royal Game of Ur. As a history and social sciences teacher education major, Miley wanted a way to get her students excited about an ancient culture.

“I was looking for a way to get my future high school students invested in the history—and what better way than by playing a game!” Miley said. Inspiration hit.

Now it was just a matter of finding a way to bring this ancient Sumerian board game into her classroom. That’s when Miley found a free and public version of the game that could be created using a 3-D printer. Enter Milner Library’s new 3-D printer. Miley was able to submit her request online, and by the end of the semester, she will have her very own version of the game to play with her students.

A button maker is available at Milner Library’s Make it Space.

“We are very excited to now have a 3-D printer at Milner,” said Paul Unsbee, director of Library Information Technology Services. The 3-D printing service has been so popular and successful that the print queue is now full for the fall 2018 semester. “We are currently working on accommodating even more 3-D print projects during the spring 2019 semester,” Unsbee said.

Luckily, the 3-D printer is just one of the many new services Milner Library has to offer. The Milner Library Make It Space is equipped to help you think outside the box and create new things. From editing computers to the Ready Record Studio to an Ellison Die Cutter and more, you have things to make and we have the tools to make them.

After receiving a University Research Grant in fiscal year 2016, Milner librarians Julie Derden and Anne Shelley researched and investigated makerspaces and curriculum centers across the Midwest. “We felt that ISU’s services to students could be improved upon,” said Derden. “So we identified basic services that could be offered relatively simply and inexpensively, in terms of equipment costs.” The library was the perfect place to create a collaborative and accessible space for students.

Make It Space services include the following:

  • Ready Record Studio
  • Multimedia Workstations
  • Ellison Die Cutter with 80-plus die-cuts
  • Laminator
  • Booklet Spiral Binder
  • Button Maker
  • 3-D printer

Students, faculty, and staff are welcome to use the Make It Space equipment for their educational and recreational needs.

“The nice part about the Make It Space at Milner is that the computer lab is open until midnight Sundays through Thursdays and until 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.”—Julie Derden.

The Make It Space is located in the 213B Computer Lab on the second floor of Milner Library. Some of the equipment requires the purchase of supplies, ranging from 10–20 cents per material.

Interim Dean Shari Zeck is thrilled that Milner Library is now the home to the Make It Space. “We’re delighted to continue developing this area,” she said. “Following on discussions about creating makerspaces with our colleagues in academic units across campus, Milner has committed to being the ‘clean’ makerspace for Illinois State University.”

Explore more about our available services—it’s easy to Make it @ Milner!