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April 20, 2015

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An updated pop up mobile makerspace, what I know now and how I’m adding more technology

An updated pop up mobile makerspace, what I know now and how I’m adding more technology

I recently began working at The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County in Ohio and one of the things we are trying to do is really address programming, particularly including more technology into our programming with a limited budget and a tight space. I really like the basic framework of the Mobile Makerspace […]

Evaluating Potential Technology for a Makerspace: Cubelets, Little Bits, MaKey MaKey, Raspberry Pi, Sphero

Evaluating Potential Technology for a Makerspace: Cubelets, Little Bits, MaKey MaKey, Raspberry Pi, Sphero

As part of my research for updating my Makerspace for The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County, I went straight to a source that I knew that had done a large amount of the work for me already: The Robot Test Kitchen. At RTK, a group of librarians have evaluated a wide variety […]

TPiB: Strawbees, a great tool for Makerspaces

My first weeks as the YA Services Coordinator at The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County in Ohio, the children’s librarian came to me with an ad for these things called STRAWBEES and asked what I thought of them. And what I thought of them was that they looked pretty cool. So she […]

SLJ Reviews LittleBits: These bright, appealing sets encourage tinkerers to explore electronics

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Imagine if building a flashlight was as easy as stacking blocks, or that you could build a robot with a shoebox, nine-volt battery, and a pile of components small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Enter LittleBits, a modular, à la carte electronics prototyping platform for users of all skill levels

This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

The Evolution of a Teen Librarian and Teen Services at Williamson County (TN) Public Library

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Erin Holt hit the ground running when she joined the teen services group at Williamson County (TN) Public Library six months ago. With her ideas and energy, the support of her director and teen staff, and the willingness to let teens drive the programming and focus of “their” library, Holt has been able to create a teen space that has proven to be wildly successful.

Creating a School Library Makerspace: The Beginning of a Journey | Tech Tidbits

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After chasing down the funding, and getting input from colleagues and adviser, Phil Goerner is about to launch a makerspace focused on the basics—with room to grow—in Silver Creek (CO) High School’s library.

SLJ Reviews the Taz 4 3-D Printer | Test Drive

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Chad Sansing considers the Lulzbot device, resembling a “steampunk erector set,” and 3-D printing’s learning potential.

This article was published in School Library Journal's December 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Take 5: The Robot Test Kitchen’s Reading List

Take 5: The Robot Test Kitchen’s Reading List

The five of us in the Robot Test Kitchen all came to this project from different comfort levels with technology. Some of us couldn’t get enough of it, some of us were skilled at it, some of us were dragging our heels, and some of us were curious but trepidatious. Some of us were a […]

We’re Not Faking it, We’re Making It: from the Robot Test Kitchen

One of the features on the Robot Test Kitchen is a True Confessions series. In it, we discuss our personal experiences in this brave new world of integrating technology programming into our libraries. Sometimes it’s triumphant, sometimes it’s scary, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. The point of our True Confessions is to illustrate […]

TPiB: Touch Screen Gloves from the Robot Test Kitchen

TPiB: Touch Screen Gloves from the Robot Test Kitchen

There’s no need to spend big bucks on fancy gloves that let you use your touchscreen devices. In this inexpensive and simple program teens can make their own! This is also a great STEM related program for those of us who are more comfortable with traditional craft programs. It’s timely given the winter season fast […]

Maker Jawn Initiative at Free Library of Philadelphia to Expand to Adults with IMLS Grant

Maker Jawn Initiative at Free Library of Philadelphia to Expand to Adults with IMLS Grant

In a move that will help the Free Library of Philadelphia (FLP) expand Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM)-based Maker space programming to multi-generational audiences, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) on October 23 awarded a $500,000 National Leadership Grant to FLP in support of the library’s Maker Jawn initiative.

Carnegie-Whitney Grants Available; YALSA 2014 Maker Contest Winners | SLJTeen News

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Apply for a Carnegie-Whitney Grant to underwrite fabulous library resources. Find inspiration among the five winning entries to YALSA’s 2014 Makers Contest—from digital media training to “Sew Electric.”

Dollars Invested in Teen Library Services Pay Off

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According to a 2011 Pew report, 72 percent of 16-17-year-olds used the public library in the previous year. This new report from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) will provide the fuel teen librarians need to convince library stakeholders that dollars invested in teens are well spent.

Contests, Awards, and Giveaways for Librarians Serving Teens

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Opportunities abound for teen bloggers, underserved school libraries needing a buck or two, and those already playing in the makerspace; on top of all that, SLJTeen brings you a double dose of galley giveaways.

New Jersey Librarians Get $116,000 in Makerspace Grants

New Jersey Librarians Get $116,000 in Makerspace Grants

Fifteen New Jersey libraries—including public, school, and academic institutions—have received funds from a New Jersey Library Makerspace grant initiative making way for libraries to become a hotbed of community skill building and personal connections.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Kansas Boy Gets New Hand, Created at a Library Makerspace

Kansas Boy Gets New Hand, Created at a Library Makerspace

Nine-year-old Matthew is the owner of a brightly-colored prosthetic Robohand that was created in the MakerSpace of the Johnson County Library in Overland Park, KS.

School Librarians Score 3-D Printers Through MakerBot

School Librarians Score 3-D Printers Through MakerBot/DonorsChoose

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.

Low Tech, High Gains: Starting a Maker Program Is Easier Than You Think

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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 article was published in School Library Journal's October 2013 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Full STEAM Ahead: Injecting Art and Creativity into STEM

Illustration by Andy Ward

STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) is part of a new trend that integrates hands-on learning with STEM. It taps into children’s natural interests while also facilitating informal learning. Show Me Librarian Amy Koester shares how school and public librarians can incorporate STEAM into their programs.

This article was published in School Library Journal's October 2013 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Amy Koester’s Favorite STEAM Programs

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Children’s librarian Amy Koester shares some of her go-to STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) programs, for all ages.

This article was published in School Library Journal's October 2013 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.