On March 21, New Jersey hosted the first state-wide Maker’s event in the US. The initiative saw 150 registered sites, the vast majority of which were public libraries.
Posts Tagged ‘makerspaces’
The Colorado Springs Mini Maker Faire was held on October 18, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. With over 6,000 people in attendance, it was a great way to introduce people to a new library, its makerspaces, and the maker culture as a whole. Plans are currently in progress for the second annual faire.
The second annual Innovation Expo was held in May 2014 on a spring Saturday in Baltimore. The public day-long event featured a keynote speaker from
the inspiring Chattanooga (Tenn.) Public Library (CPL), a library-staff-only training opportunity, and a 5,000-square-foot exhibit hall full of hands-on learning opportunities from museums, academic institutions, makerspaces, public libraries, and more. The event, subtitled “Create and Collaborate,”was a creative collaboration in and of itself.
The makerspace movement encompasses a wide berth from the basic to the high tech, and the free to the highly expensive. Determining what the library can afford, what it wants to accomplish with its makerspace, how best to utilize its resources, and whether partners can be found to support these efforts is incredibly important.
Working on developing makerspaces and the accompanying policies can seem like a hydra. Every time you answer a question, two new ones come up. Providing a special experience for your patrons, however, is worth the effort.
While a few other libraries have created digital video labs or makerspaces, no other public library has created a space with the many creative functions assembled in the Melrose Center. This project exemplifies Orange County (Fla.) Library System’s (OCLS) willingness to embrace unique new roles for a public library and its ability to live with risk-taking and be on the edge of completely new library services. By fostering and creating community content and not just serving up content from other vendors, OCLS has done something very dramatic and game changing, which other public libraries might perhaps follow.
A new trend in libraries (with funding) is the Makerspaces that come complete with 3D printers. In case you haven’t heard, a 3D printer is a machine that engages in the process of making a solid three-dimensional object of virtually any shape from a digital model. In other words, have a digitized plan and the 3D printer can make it a solid reality.[i] The process is a relatively simple concept in which successive layers of material are laid down in different shapes to make the aggregate whole. This procedure has been used in manufacturing and design areas for a while. It is now coming of age in the fields of medicine, and yes, libraries.