February 23, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Make It @ Your Library Launches Maker Space Project Website

Make It @ Your Library, in collaboration with Instructables.com and the American Library Association, has finally launched its fully searchable website, makeitatyourlibrary.org, for librarians seeking maker ideas and projects, the ALA announced today. Make It @ Your Library—an initiative developed through the ILEAD USA program (Illinois Libraries Explore, Apply and Discover) over the past year—aims to help librarians realize maker space projects in their own communities at low cost.

“Since around 2011, ‘makerspaces’ have really become a buzzword in libraries,” says Victoria Rakowski,  assistant director of youth services at Lisle Library District, in the announcement. “Everyone is talking about them. A common misperception is that makerspaces require the purchase of high cost items like 3-D printers, or the installation of full workshops. This site will cut down on librarian anxiety.”

Adds Eric Wilhelm, founder of Instructables.com and director of communities at Autodesk. “We created Instructables.com for people to explore, document, and share projects they are passionate about. “Hands-on experience is key to unlocking that passion.”

The new site, featuring Web development by Sean Fitzpatrick of LISHost, classifies maker projects by several criteria, including the tools and space needed, age level, category, and the cost and time needed for the project. Search terms are completely customizable to aid librarians in planning their projects, ALA notes. For examples, category options include “workshop,” “living,” “outside,” “play,” “technology,” and “food,” while searches in the cost category can be narrowed down to such options as “less than $5 per person” or “more than $20 per person.”

Make It @Your Library, through ILEAD USA, is funded in part by the Institute for Museum and Library Services Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program Grant.

Karyn M. Peterson About Karyn M. Peterson

Karyn M. Peterson (kpeterson@mediasourceinc.com) is a former News Editor ofSLJ.

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