Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Makerspaces and the Tentative Librarian

I admit it...I haven't jumped into the makerspace pool yet.  I told myself I wanted to test the waters before I started investing time, energy (and money!) into one for the library.  I've been parts of conversations, read some materials and decided to give excuses instead of getting results.  I admit it, the idea kind of scared the living daylights out of me (especially the coding part!) because I have NO CLUE about the whole thing.  Ask me about library programs, books, educational technology, I got it.  I know how to collaborate, advocate, and integrate.

I do NOT have a clue about makerspaces.  And in this case, ignorance is NOT bliss.

That all changed the other day.

A good friend of mine was talking about her simple makerspace at school and what confused me more than anything was there was little to no technology involved in hers.  So, is this a true makerspace or do you HAVE to have technology embedded into it?  Is there a place for arts and crafts in a makerspace or not?

We took this conversation to a wonderful group of high school librari-friends (I love this PLN!) and began to talk all about makerspaces.  I was hung up on the whole definition of it, and one brilliant friend said this:
     "Makerspaces don't have just one definition, they have lots of different definitions."

And sometimes that's all I need to hear to make a difference.  When approaching makerspaces as this finite thing having to be planned (helpful hint given to me: works better if it's organic). I built walls around it, scaring myself off from even approaching it.  But that one sentence made me see less boundaries and more ideas.  

First, I needed to have a time set out for students to make.  Before/after school, during the school day when they are finished in their classes, and during lunches were all common ideas.  I'm fortunate that our campus just adopted a 37 minute time for students to go anywhere and spend their time the way they want to (unless they have mandatory tutorials).  Wah-laa!!  Got the time!

Next, I needed to have a place to set up my makerspace.  I have space in the library rarely used, is small and contained, and best of all, is connected to a computer lab.  Check!!

Okay, now for the ideas...I like the idea of upcycling and am beginning to see a concept.  But before that-

I'm immersing myself in reading and preparing for it.  Drills and saws in the library?  Ummmm....not there yet. I'm making a date to look at a real live makerspace in action first.  In the interim, I'm reading up on it. Here are a couple of articles I am making time to really read and think about:

Makerspace Resources and Programming Ideas: http://colleengraves.org/makerspace-resources-and-programming-ideas/   

Libraries as Makerspaces: http://www.slideshare.net/LYRASIS_PRODEV/libraries-as-makerspaces

Ideas for Makerspaces in the Library: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PyJgMCXFJU8SAK6Mt9ZzUfBDNiEa56ZMA7Vg8ugGNsE/edit?copiedFromTrash

Libraries & makerspaces: A revolution?


Image citation: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lwr/158647222/in/album-72157594159058020/

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