Establishing a Makerspace in Your Library

Image from the Teen Librarian Toolbox article "Teen Makerspaces @ Your Library": http://www.teenlibrariantoolbox.com/2013/08/teen-makerspaces-your-library.html

Image from the Teen Librarian Toolbox article “Teen Makerspaces @ Your Library”: http://www.teenlibrariantoolbox.com/2013/08/teen-makerspaces-your-library.html

Makerspaces aren’t just about 3D printing, though that is a commonly held misconception. A Makerspace is simply any public work area where people can go to create and collaborate. Typically they’re outfitted with an assortment of digital and/or analog tools for communal use. They cultivate creativity, community, experimentation, and an understanding of how things work. In so doing, they also nurture the entrepreneurial spirit.

Since January, the Utah State Library has been hosting Build-A-Lab, a series of webinars on how-to set up a makerspace in a small or medium-sized public library. So far primarily Midwestern libraries have presented and their service populations have ranged from 3,000 to 30,000. The series shows both the diversity of what can constitute a makerspace and proves that a library of any size and means can incorporate one into the services they offer. 

Four libraries have presented so far and their canned presentations, as well as links to handouts like budget documents, are all available hereTo watch a recorded presentation, simply click on the image accompanying each library’s post. You will need Adobe Flash Player to watch–you can download it here if you don’t already have it.

Another installment is yet to come, so if you like what you see, be sure to check back for it around the Ides of March!

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