April 21, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

MakerSpace: DIY Faux Enamel Pins

All things old are new again, and enamel pins are all the rage. In fact, I picked up some super cool Dumplin ones from Julie Murphy at TLA. And you can buy them at a lot of craft and hot trendy stores. Hot Topic, for example, sells a wide variety of enamel pins.   But […]

Marjory Stoneman Douglas Maker Space Gets an Upgrade, Becomes “Part of the Healing Process”

A couple of 3-D printers and motivated students has the MSD maker space evolving and playing a role in the students’ healing process.

Cosplay Creation with Elementary Students

Cosplay builds confidence and critical thinking. It can also invite discussion about gender stereotypes, body shaming, media representations, and more.

How a Connecticut Library Became a Community STEM Hub

A well conceived tech center and maker lab draws students and community members of all ages.

Trend Alert: Breakerspaces | Library Hacks

Breakerspace. Toy Takeapart. Break & Make. Whatever you call it, a breakerspace lets kids take stuff apart to see what makes it tick.

MakerSpace: DIY Metal Stamping (A metal stamping kit review)

Jewelry making has been pretty popular in our Teen MakerSpace, and I really wanted to give metal stamping a try. However, the individual components always seemed more expensive then something I wanted to spend just to try something out. Fortunately, I found a complete metal stamping kit at Target for only $24.99, and that seemed […]

MakerSpace: Get Teens Involved Making Cards

If you’re looking for a quick, easy, and relatively cheap way to give back this holiday season–and also plan a program with your teens–I’d suggest making holiday cards to donate! This time of year gives everyone the jitters, and channeling that extra excitement and energy into creativity is a great way to unwind. I ran […]

Take 5: Five Things I’ve Made with My Silhouette Cameo and Why I Recommend it for a MakerSpace

I’ve had my personal Silhouette Cameo for about a month now and last week, we ordered one for The Teen MakerSpace at The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County. I’ve only tapped the surface of what I can do with the machine and it has a lot of uses. For example, it can […]

MakerSpace: Mixed Media Collage and Recycling Books

For a variety of reasons, libraries are just as much in the business of getting rid of books as they are purchasing them. One, having shelf space for the new means we have to get rid of the old. Many books become outdated, inaccurate, overly worn, and no longer popular. So yes, we discard books. […]

MakerSpace: Low Tech, Low Cost Printmaking

Recently while cruising the craft store I came across two items that greatly intrigued me: 1) A Gelli Printing plate 2) Jane Davenport acrylic stamps These are two different types of art styles, but I used the inspiration of both and realized that it is a type of monoprinting or printingmaking that is being done […]

TPiB: Emoji Fortune Tellers

Sometimes an amazing craft idea has to change direction to make it work. That’s what happened with this project, for a few reasons. First, the inspiration: How cool is that?! A DIY Magic 8 Ball is something my coworker and I stumbled upon while preparing for our superstition-filled Friday The 13th escape room, and it […]

MakerSpace: Using a Silhouette Cameo to Do Screenprinting

This summer as part of our Summer of Shirts, we did a very low-tech version of screen printing, which turned out to be incredibly popular. So I was excited to learn that the Silhouette Cameo can be used to do a more traditional type of screenprinting. It works really well and I HIGHLY recommend it. […]

Silhouette Cameo 101: The Manual It Doesn’t Come With, But Should (MakerSpace)

I have spent the last couple of weeks trying to figure out how to use and evaluating the Silhouette Cameo for our Teen Makerspace at The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County (OH). You can read my initial thoughts here: MakerSpace Mondays: The Silhouette Cameo – a review MakerSpace Mondays: The Silhouette Cameo […]

View from the Director’s Chair Part II: Narrative Filmmaking by Lynette Pitrak

Since its inception in the fall of 2014, Downers Grove Public Library’s teens have been busy creating in our Media Lab! Teens have created documentary films in our Viewfrom the Director’s Chair workshop, photography in our Viewfrom Behind the Lens workshop, and music demo recordings in View from the Sound Booth. The creativity, passion, and […]

MakerSpace Mondays: The Silhouette Cameo – Vinyl 101

Earlier today,  I talked about the Silhouette Cameo Vinyl Cutter: MakerSpace Mondays: The Silhouette Cameo – a review. So if you buy a Silhouette Cameo, you’ll probably be making a variety of vinyl projects. Not all vinyl is the same, so here’s a little Vinyl 101 brought to you by high school librarian Dani Fouser. […]

MakerSpace Mondays: The Silhouette Cameo – a review

This past week TLTer Robin Willis came and spent the week with me and visited my library (The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County, Ohio) and the Teen MakerSpace. Her visit coincided with the exploration and evaluation of a Silhouette Cameo 3 machine which we are considering for the Teen MakerSpace. Here’s what […]

Want To Build a Great Maker Space? Plan Before You Play, Say Experts.

Got the maker bug but don’t know where to start? Check with the very people you hope to entice: your students. Panelists Laura Fleming, Tamiko Brown, and David Jakes offered their advice in the webcast “Build a Great Makerspace.”

SLJTeenLive: Building a Teen MakerSpace on a Budget

This summer I was honored to participate in the SLJTeenLive event (if you have never attended, you are missing out on a wealth of information so put it on your calendar for next year). I also wrote an article about it for SLJ which you can read here. Today I am sharing my slides with […]

A Student-Designed Maker Cart

These Florida middle schoolers prototyped a stylish commercial storage bin, thanks to a design challenge and partnership with a furniture manufacturer.

This article was published in School Library Journal's September 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

MakerSpace: DIY Iron On Patches

Our newest MakerSpace station at The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County was inspired by a teen I know in Texas, and it has proven to be very popular. Technique Used: Cross Stitch Supplies Needed: Cross stitch fabric Craft floss Cross stitch needles Small cross stitch hoop Small scissors Small cross stitch patterns […]