June 25, 2016

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The Making of Our String Art “READ” Sign

This year, I am pretty excited because not only did we debut the new Teen MakerSpace, but I was able to hire two MakerSpace Assistants to help keep the area staffed after school and on weekends. One of my assistants is Morgan Durfee, who was an art major in college and is an awesome cos-player. […]

Scenes from a Teen MakerSpace Open House

Yesterday in celebration of The National Week of Making, we officially introduced our Teen MakerSpace at The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County (OH) to our community by hosting an open house. Our Teen MakerSpace is normally only open to teens ages 12 through 18, but we wanted to let the public know […]

TPiB: The Books of Our Heart Button

A few weeks ago I was talking with another librarian friend of mine when she started to ask me about a book. She stopped and said, “Oh yeah, you’re all about making now, you don’t really do books anymore.” This caused me to pause. Of course I am still all about books. But it’s true, […]

MakerSpace: Challenge Cards, getting teens to try new activities in the Teen MakerSpace

We are having tremendous success with our Teen MakerSpace at The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County (OH) and are very excited to see the teens in our community using the space and learning new things. We have learned that certain items are more popular than others, with the button makers and 3D […]

MakerSpace: Stop Motion Animation 101

Later today I am presenting a webinar on Stop Motion Animation for Florida Library Webinars. Here are my slides. I have been doing stop motion animation with my teens for about 3 or 4 years now (and at two different library jobs). It has proven so popular that we included a stop motion animation station […]

MakerSpace: Learning to Code in Scratch

We set out with several goals in mind when created the Teen MakerSpace at The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County in Ohio. One of those goals was to engage our teens in learning how to code. We created a bank of iPad stations to help facilitate this goal and pre-loaded it with […]

MakerSpace: Low Tech Tool – The Recycled Paper Bead Maker

On a whim, I bought this low tech tool for the MakerSpace, prompted in part by the fact that it was on clearance at Michael’s for $5.00. I looked and it is available at Amazon for $10.00, which is still a good price. In fact, I’m going to buy a couple more for the Teen […]

MakerSpace: Thumbprint Art Buttons

You might think that teens would not be interested in doing thumbprint art. I thought that. It turns out, we would both be wrong. That is the takeaway from this past week, at least for me. I was right there with you, I too was worried that my teens would not be into doing thumbprint […]

MakerSpace: How do you evaluate this new service?

Although many libraries have had Maker Spaces for a while now and are doing them quite successfully, our Teen MakerSpace is new to us at The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County (OH). What we wanted (and needed) was to create a way to keep track of who is using the space when […]

My Love/Hate Relationship with 3-D Printers in Libraries

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We’ve seen 3-D printers shift from cool niche products to supposed must-haves. But are we achieving the dream or just printing tchotchkes?

TPiB: MakerSpace Poetry

I love poetry. In fact, I still have all my old high school notebooks full of my very bad angst filled poetry. Occasionally, I still even add a new poem. And since April is National Poetry Month, I wanted to find a way to combine some poetry activities with the new MakerSpace at The Public […]

Sunday Reflections: My Favorite MakerSpace Moments (So Far)

Our Teen MakerSpace is in full swing now at The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County (Ohio). We have hired and trained two MakerSpace Assistants, who it turns out are incredibly awesome. And every day we have anywhere from 10 or more teens come into the space. Word of mouth is definitely spreading […]

View from Behind the Lens: It’s a Wrap! a guest post by Lynette Pitrak

My previous post detailed the first half of View from Behind the Lens, an eight-week advanced photography workshop for middle school and high school students.  In the first few weeks of class, Downers Grove-based instructor Mike Taylor and I worked on teaching the students camera basics, various types of photography shoots, and working with both […]

Take 5: Maker Dates

I’m always looking for fun program tie-in ideas – or dates. And this year, my programming is focused on Maker types of programs because of our new Teen MakerSpace. So here are a few fun dates I have found. 1. Pi Day 3.14 I am posting this on Pi Day, so it’s obviously too late […]

Mistakes Were Made: What I Learned About Installing an iPad Lab in a MakerSpace

This is the tale of a clever teen, a librarian, and the great iPad lock out of 2016. You see, I went to check on the status of our new iPads in the Teen MakerSpace when I realized that one of my teens had been more clever than I could have imagined. I couldn’t even […]

White House Announces 2016 National Week of Making, June 17–23

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Along with President Obama’s announcement of the 2016 National Week of Making, June 17–23, he described two other initiatives to support maker spaces and technical education in schools.

The School Library Journal/Library Journal Maker Workshop

Earlier today I was invited to be a part of the Library Journal Lead the Change Maker Workshop and present a brief overview of my recent article in School Library Journal – Small Tech, Big Impact: Designing My Maker Space  The truth is, I was honored to be invited to participate because I did the […]

MakerSpace: 3D Pens, Reviews and Tips and Tricks

Many on our staff at The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County were clamoring for a 3D Printer when we were discussing creating our MakerSpace, but we were worried about cost and space. And I personally was worried about the learning curve: I know nothing – and I mean nothing – about 3D […]

MakerSpace: Green Screen Photo Booth, app review and tips and tricks

As part of our MakerSpace, I decided that I wanted to set up a Green Screen Photo Booth, though the truth is that I know nothing about doing green screen photos. So I an by trying out a variety of apps on our iPad stations. Apps investigated include: Green Screen by Do Ink ($2.99) Green […]

Sunday Reflections: Reflections on Making While Sitting in My Teen MakerSpace

Reflections on Making while sitting in my MakerSpace// Having a Teen MakerSpace has changed some of how I interact with teens in my library. In addition to having a traditional program, I now have a space and a way to interact with my teens on a more come as you are informal way. I know […]