Welcome to The Spark, a technology division within the UNT Libraries. As a unique combination of a hands-on learning lab (aka a makerspace) and a library circulating collection, our primary focus is providing access to a wide range of technologies to not only support but enhance your UNT educational experience.
The Spark’s vision is to promote the cooperative and creative use of technology to support the continual development of the maker mindset within the UNT community. As such we strive to foster innovation and exploration of technology and ideas to engage in the learning process in an inclusive and collaborative space. The Spark is committed to promoting ideals and efforts to elevate the UNT mission of "...empowering our students to thrive in a rapidly changing world" and providing learning opportunities to help our students "be innovative leaders of tomorrow".
The Spark's mission is to ignite the imagination, encourage exploration, and facilitate learning at the intersection of theoretical knowledge and physical application across disciplines. The Spark endeavors to increase digital fluency, inspire explorative learning, support resume building, and encourage personal growth and development of a maker mindset. The maker mindset builds confidence in an individual's ownership of the process and understanding the connection between the challenge and the outcome. Maker-centered learning has the ability to grow an individual's skill set in critical thinking, communication, and collaboration while working in a cross-disciplinary environment.
The Spark Goals:
|Locations & Hours|
|Spark Location||Willis||Discovery Park||Frisco|
|Campus Location||Willis Library 150||Discovery Park M152||Frisco Landing 150|
The Willis location places a strong emphasis on fostering a dynamic learning environment within the heart of the library.
|Discovery Park offers a distinctive feature through its partnership with the Mechanical Engineering department.||The Frisco location of The Spark is the newest location and is designed to support the collaborative and entrepreneurial spirit embodied at UNT Frisco.|
|Guidelines for Use|
We are excited to have you come into our spaces to learn and continue to develop new skills, building your resume, and/or enriching your college experiences. The Spark has resources that are circulating (can leave space) and some that are only available for in space use. The Spark Makerspace offers access to a variety of tools and machines that can have inherent risks. So please read carefully the information below to help you get the most out of your time in the space.
It is important to understand the makerspace is not a production facility but an educational lab. Our mission is to teach you the skills/equipment to bring your project and/or ideas to life. The team does not do the work, they train individuals to use the resources they need or want to learn.
Reminders for when you are ready to visit the space!
Be kind and understanding when using the space. The makerspace is a safe space for people from all walks of life to learn, tinker and make. Individuals found to be disrespectful of the space, hateful in any form to other users or employees of The Spark, and/or abusive to machines/equipment or others will be evicted from the facility. Use of the makerspace is a privilege that can be revoked.
We value being able to train and then get to use equipment that many may see as dangerous. An important part of using the makerspace is completing proper training and using best practices with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and behavior choices.
Proper training completed
Wear proper PPE
Inspect space and equipment for any safety issues
Leave It How You Want To Meet It
The Spark locations are shared spaces open to all of the UNT community. Removing mess and cleaning up debris helps maintain safety within the space. Make sure to allow time to pick and return tools or accessories that were used. Report any maintenance needs, sweep/use the shop vac to clean up the area, and wipe down the machine/workbench used.
Graciously Reflect and Review
We want to hear about your experience in The Spark! We strive to offer our patrons a fulfilling experience and are always looking for ways to improve. Reach out and tell us the good, bad, and the ugly. We look forward to hearing from you!
UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES, UNT POLICY AND PROCEDURE MEMORANDUM.
RIGHT TO REFUSE SERVICES
The Spark reserves the right to refuse services to any patron who acts irresponsibly by disrupting the use of the facilities or by being disrespectful to other patrons or to a SPARK employee. Any SPARK employee can exercise the right to refuse service when confronted by a patron acting irresponsibly. Irresponsible behavior includes but is not limited to the following:
Rudeness including loud and offensive language.
Unreasonable demands for service.
Being under the influence of controlled substances or alcohol.
Not following proper protocols for use of equipment
Threatening or erratic behavior.
NOTICES OF POLICIES & POLICY VIOLATIONS
According to the Dean of Students, it is not the responsibility of SPARK employees to educate patrons on the policy and procedures. SPARK employees may inform a patron of specific policies or policy violations.
If a patron is found to be abusing a policy or exhibiting disruptive behavior in the facility, a verbal warning will be issued.
After one warning is issued, the patron will be asked to leave the facility.
The patron is expected to leave the facility immediately.
If the patron fails to leave, the police will be called to escort the patron from the facility.
If a patron is found to be participating in illegal behavior or activities, the police will be called immediately.
When an abusive or disruptive pattern is discovered, the patron will be banned from the facilities for the remainder of the semester. Additionally, the patron’s file will be forwarded to the Dean of Students to be added to the student’s permanent record.
Remember that use of the computer lab is a privilege, and privileges can be revoked.
This Policy: "24 Student Computing Center @ the Library Disciplinary Action Plan" by UNT Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
In the Spark some machines/services/training may expose patron to possible dangers, and therefore all users must go through a general safety and specific equipment training when applicable. A number of machines are available for in-space use only. Although many items in the Spark collection are circulating, there are special loan periods, booking procedures, renewal rules, and fine rates that apply. Makerspace project requests are subject to the Spark’s review/approval process.
Spark items can be costly and it is the responsibility of the patron to return items in the same or better condition than they were when checked out.
Equipment that is only available through booking requests. Items that fall under bookable have the following circulating rules:
Equipment from the Spark collection that is available through the catalog and available to leave space are circulating items. Items that fall under circulating equipment have the following circulating rules:
Equipment that is for use within the defined area of the makerspace is considered in-space use. Items that fall under in space have the following circulating rules:
Equipment that is for use within the makerspace and requires a trained Maker at every use is the service based equipment. Items that fall under service based equipment requires a monitored operator appointment and have the following use rules:
Full Service 3D printing is a paid service with the following procedure:
|The Spark @ Willis Llibrary|
The Spark's founding location is in the Willis Library centrally located on the main UNT Campus in Denton. In 2014 we started out as The Factory and through the growth and development of our space we have grown and rebranded as The Spark. The Spark in Willis Library is located on the first floor on the north wall across from the printers and is the technology service desk for the building.
The largest portion of the Spark collection is primarily housed in the Willis Library and includes service and support for a wide range of student technology, supporting UNT curriculum needs, and partnering with local schools and community programs.
Some services unique to our Willis location include:
|The Spark @ Discovery Park|
The Spark @ Discovery Park is our branch location at UNT Denton's Discovery Park Campus and is open to all UNT students, faculty and staff. In this Spark location we have a partnership with the Department of Mechanical Engineering in which The Spark and the Pettinger Center for Innovation and Design are in a shared space.
The Pettinger Center for Innovation and Design is restricted access for Mechanical Engineering only, the Spark is open to all UNT students, faculty and staff. Uniquely, in this location The Spark is partnering with the Mechanical Engineering department and will also have ME resources for checkout by ME students. The ME resources will be available for checkout from the service desk during Spark hours of operation. The Hours of Operation for each Spark group is listed in the Library calendar. Please note the Makerspace has three locations, one in Willis 150 and one in Discovery Park M152, and one in Frisco Landing 150.
In order to use any Spark location, a patron must have a signed liability waiver on file. Circulating materials are available from the Spark service desk and a UNT ID is required in order to check out. In space equipment requires training please refer to the Trainings & Workshops page.
Due to the shared space please keep the following in mind:
Our Discovery Park location offers many resources to support UNT students. The collection is comprised of in space equipment, as well as kits available for check out. The circulating materials housed in this location are those that have been in higher demand at Discovery Park. However, all Spark circulating items can be transferred to Discovery Park for pick up as needed.
|A Look at The Spark @ Discovery Park|
|The Spark @ Frisco Landing|
The Spark @ Frisco Landing sour branch location to support our Frisco campuses and is open to all UNT students, faculty, and staff. In this location the Spark has a service desk that operates the same hours as the building and has distinct makers-ace hours as well.
The Spark service desk provides check outs for laptops, flatbed scanners, web cameras, and boardgames throughout building operating hours. Makerspace technologies and trainings are available during Makerspace hours.