School librarians looking to launch a maker space in their schools, but who lack the funds to purchase high-tech gadgets like a 3-D printer, should consider the recent MakerBot and DonorsChoose.org partnership, says media specialist Andy Plemmons.
Make It @ Your Library, in collaboration with Instructables.com and the American Library Association, has finally launched its searchable website, makeitatyourlibrary.org, for librarians seeking maker space ideas and projects. Make It @ Your Library—an initiative developed through the ILEAD USA program over the past year—aims to help librarians realize maker projects in their own communities at low cost.
The most important resource for creating a successful library maker space—whether in a school or public library—is one’s own community, according to librarians Justin Hoenke, Amy Koester, and Michelle Cooper. Strong relationships and community involvement, not big budgets and high-tech gadgetry, are key to reaching children and teens, the trio of makers say.
Has the maker movement taken hold in your library yet? Starting a maker space is easier—and less costly—than you may think. Technologies such as robotics, digital video production, computer coding, and 3-D printing may garner the most attention, but traditional activities instill the same spirit of invention, collaboration, and critical thinking of the maker phenomenon.
This weekend, thousands of educators, parents, and kids of all ages will join the crowd of DIY enthusiasts flocking to New York City’s 4th annual World Maker Faire New York to see more than 650 makers present original projects celebrating such areas as technology, education, science, arts, crafts, engineering, and sustainability. The family-friendly festival of invention and creativity will also be offering a “How to Make a Maker Space” workshop ahead of the main event.
The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) has awarded the Round Rock Public Library System a grant of $49,500 to build Innovation Station, an after-school maker space and program that aims to engage middle schoolers in project-based science, technology, engineering, mathematics, art and design activities. The grant is part of a total $1.6 million in awards that TSLAC is distributing in fiscal 2014 to Texas library programs.