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Posts Tagged ‘makerspaces’

illustration of keyboard computer settings gear and code

Open Source and Open Access: A Perfect Marriage

The maker movement has been filtering into the public library sphere for years, and libraries all over the U.S. now have their very own makerlabs and digital media labs. A big part of that digital DIY culture includes open source software, which Phil Shapiro, an educator and blogger for opensource.com, argues needs to be more prevalent in the public library space. Perhaps librarians do need to be better educated on open source. But arguably, we are already incorporating open source software into our regular programming.

Why Make? An Exploration of User-Perceived Benefits of Makerspaces

During the last decade, technology has provided us with tremendous individual power, and this has encouraged the development of what is being called the Maker Movement. This movement is having a profound effect upon the manufacturing sector as well as the individual’s ability to explore and share creative ideas using computer-aided design and an online network of collaborators. In response to interest in participating in self-directed projects that utilize digital tools and knowledge, libraries and other community-based organizations have created makerspaces. These facilities provide users with the physical tools and space to pursue their interests and collaborate on projects. Educational research shows that this type of activity can facilitate learning, but little is known about what the users themselves perceive to be the benefits of access to makerspaces. This exploratory study examines users’ perceptions of their experience in public library makerspaces.

kid reading book on floor in library between rows of library shelves

Bringing the Library Home: Mixed Income Housing and Libraries

Thanks to a partnership between the Chicago Public Library and the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), mixed income housing developments will house small libraries.


Getting Your Makerspace Off the Ground

In all types of libraries, services, collections, and spaces are being redesigned as a response to changing patron needs and preferences. Advancement in technology is fueling these changes. Outside of libraries, these changes are causing businesses to rethink their products, services, and delivery methods. All of this together is changing how the modern workforce performs its work and the skill sets it needs in the dynamic modern workplace. At Johnson County Library, located in the Kansas suburbs surrounding Kansas City, these factors combined, led to the creation of a makerspace.[1] As the library re-evaluated its approach to traditional business reference services, a redesign of the central library was also in the planning stages. Moreover, a flexible approach to programming allowed these three forces to combine, creating fertile grounds for the launch of a makerspace.

artists palette and brushes

Crafting at the Library

I work in a small community library outside of Kalamazoo, Michigan. I have tried various types of adult programs to capture the community’s interest: from programs featuring authors, to musicians, poets, ghost hunters, master gardeners and computer classes, we’ve hosted them all. However, the programs that generated the most interest were always those that focused on crafting projects. So, in 2012, I decided to try something new with our adult patrons.

pla 2016 conference logo

COLab: Making at PLA 2016

During PLA’s 2016 Conference, several Colorado libraries worked together with some Colorado companies to present the COLab, which provided attendees with the opportunity to experiment with activities, learn about technology, and ask questions of people involved in the maker movement.

person reading in front of book shelf

Provide a Variety of Library Spaces

Thinking about building, remodeling, or just changing up your library space? A recent post from Diana Rendina discusses the six different spaces that libraries can have to assist with active learning.

person reading blueprints

Tulsa City-County Library Renewal

Tulsa, Oklahoma has seen a lot of growth and renewal in the last few years. From bustling, youthful Downtown to quirky and artistic Cherry Street to family-friendly Bixby, the Tulsa metro area continues to boom. This growth extends to the Tulsa City-County Library (TCCL) as well. A renewal project has been in the works since 2011, giving the citizens of Tulsa County the excellent library services they are accustomed to from the TCCL.

Man working with tools in a workshop

Supporting Your Community Through Making

Makerspaces are wonderful places for people to learn about and explore new technology. They can also be labs for inventors developing new products. People create incredibly unique, ingenious, and desirable products, but it can be expensive to create prototypes and initial runs of products.

two people working in a workshop

Creating a Space for Makerspace

In in a July 15th article on Edutopia.org, “Fostering Creativity with Makerspaces,” high school English teacher Nicholas Provenzo describes the perfect home he found for a makerspace, the library, and his 4-step process to make it happen. A lifetime lover of the creative process, Provenzo has always worked with his students to pursue ideas and make amazing projects over the years. Facing the challenge to replicate this experience for students outside of his classroom, he found the maker movement fit the bill.

girls working on a project

Make-HER at Sunnyvale Public Library

The maker movement brings together handicrafts and technology in one exciting phenomenon. Whether you like crafts or circuits, or a combination of the two, there’s something for you. Libraries across the world, are offering specialized maker programs to encourage interest in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, as well as the more artistic areas of making. Some libraries are also offering programs tailored to specific patron groups, like maker programs for girls. An example of this is the Make-HER program at Sunnyvale (CA) Public Library.

road in forest

Library as Ecotone

May I suggest that the library is an ecotone? We are the space between work and home. We are the space between childhood and adulthood. We are the space between illiteracy and literacy. We are the space between unemployed and employed. We are the space between bullying at school and abuse at home. In the library ecotone life bursts forth; life that could only have begun in our space.


From Come-Do to How-To

MakerSpace. CreateSpace. Incubator. All are the latest buzzwords in our profession, in our journals, at our conventions, and in our blogs. They stimulate us to transform our traditional library space into one where we invite our community to come to the library to experience invention, innovation, collaboration, and creative problem solving.


Libraries of Instagram

It’s easy to be overwhelmed as libraries worldwide are posting on Instagram, but specific hashtags can help find hidden gems.

Geek Girl Camp circuits class

Geek Girls Camp at the Library

The Fayetteville Free Library’s week-long Geek Girl Camp gives elementary-age girls the opportunity to learn and play in various STEAM fields all in one location – the library!