May 2, 2016

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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 […]

MakerSpace: The Making of a Manual

In the February 2016 issue of School Library Journal, I share in an article titled Small Tech, Big Impact my journey in creating a small Teen MakerSpace at The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County in Ohio. In addition to creating the space itself, I was equally excited to organize and put together […]

Tiny Ozobot Gets Kids into Block-based Programming | Test Drive

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School Library Journal reviews Ozobot, the golf-ball size robot designed to draw kids into learning programming.

This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Take 5: Stop Motion Animation Hacks for a MakerSpace

When I became a librarian, I never knew that one day I would become the creator of stop motion animation. But lo and behold, here we are and I spend a lot of time with my teens teaching them how to do stop motion animation. I have the basics down, and the rest we figure […]

MakerSpace: Rethinking Food in Programming, Again? Yes, Again.

Thing 2 loves waffles, which is why The Mr. had a moment of brilliance: let’s buy a waffle iron. It did not realize that this small purchase – we bought ours at the local thrift store for $3.00 because we are poor – would become the inspiration for what may become one of my most […]

MakerSpace: The Proposal Stage

I have spent most of the second half of 2015 working with my Assistant Director and co-workers to turn the Teen Space into a MakerSpace at The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County (OH). Below I will share with you the most recent version of our project outline, which has gone through a […]

STEAM Programs Sing in the Hands of Tricia Fuglestad

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Lauded STEAM leader Tricia Fuglestad spells out how she makes the magic happen at the “intersection of art and science.” Circuitry projects, stop motion videos, and, of course, LEGO, are all part of the plan. She even has an idea for bolstering a common weak spot in maker spaces: sharing the learning.

MakerSpace: Unconventional Printing

Look, we all know that I am obsessed with photo apps and pictures of my kids. But it’s not just for me, it’s for the teens – I swear. One of my favorite teen programs I have ever done – and I have repeated it several times – is a program called Renovate Your Room. […]

New Ideas for Better STEAM Programs

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Two experts in the maker movement, Allison Vannatta and Nick Taylor, shared hard-won secrets during SLJ’s online Maker Workshop.