Asee peer logo

Creating Ideas into Reality: Spaces and Programs that Open Up the Imagination

Download Paper |


2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Technical Session 3: History and Future of Engineering Librarianship

Tagged Division

Engineering Libraries

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Kari A. Kozak University of Iowa Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Kari Kozak is the Head of the Lichtenberger Engineering Library at The University of Iowa. She provides instruction, reference, and consultation services to student, faculty, and staff within the departments and research centers in the College of Engineering as well as the Department of Computer Science. Kari holds bachelor’s degrees in Meteorology and Environmental Studies from Iowa State and a master’s degree in Library Science from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. Before coming to the University of Iowa in November of 2008, she worked at Texas A & M University as a Science & Engineering Librarian.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Virtual reality, 3-D scanning, Arduino programming, oh my! Over the summer of 2016, the Lichtenberger Engineering Library at the University of Iowa designed a new a 575 square foot area called the Creative Space, a place for students, faculty, and staff to turn their ideas into reality and to get hands-on experience. The room enriches programs and resources already in place within the College, including the Engineering Electronics Shop, Engineering Machine Shop, and the Tool Library. The new resources allow users to explore the latest in virtual reality, 3-D scanning and modeling, Arduino programming, and wearable technology. With the addition of the new space, sixty-one tools were added to the Tool Library increasing the amount available for check out up to 147. Between September 2012 and June 2016, 1,057 items were checked out and the most popular were the 25-foot tape measure, the digital caliper, pliers set, screwdriver set, and the multimeters. The new space, marketing, and word of mouth led to a significant increase in the usage of the Tool Library, with 902 items checked out during the fall 2016 semester alone. New items accounted for 489 of those items checked out. The tools in the Tool Library before the creation of the Creative Space accounted for 413 checkouts, which is above the average 137 items of previous semesters—around 3.2 times as much usage. To kick off the new space and to assist in offsetting costs to the inventor, the Engineering Technology Center and Lichtenberger Engineering Library teamed up to create a scholarship/grant program called Creative Kick-Start. Ten groups/individuals were each awarded $500 to be used in either of our Shops on materials, labor, and tools needed to make his/her idea a reality. This Creative Space and our Kick-Start program stimulate students to imagine, tinker, design, and—ultimately—create new and innovative projects.

Kozak, K. A. (2017, June), Creating Ideas into Reality: Spaces and Programs that Open Up the Imagination Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28083

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2017 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015