August 29, 2014

Make the STEM connection | The Next Big Thing

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Put the “science” back in library science and help support STEM learning

School Librarians Score 3-D Printers Through MakerBot/DonorsChoose

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School librarians looking to launch a maker space in their schools, but who lack the funds to purchase high-tech gadgets like a 3-D printer, should consider the recent MakerBot and DonorsChoose.org partnership, says media specialist Andy Plemmons.

Community Is Key to Successful Library Maker Spaces | The Digital Shift 2013

Community is Key to Successful Library Maker Spaces | The Digital Shift 2013

The most important resource for creating a successful library maker space—whether in a school or public library—is one’s own community, according to librarians Justin Hoenke, Amy Koester, and Michelle Cooper. Strong relationships and community involvement, not big budgets and high-tech gadgetry, are key to reaching children and teens, the trio of makers say.

Low Tech, High Gains: Starting a Maker Program Is Easier Than You Think

A busy day at Darien (CT) Public Library’s LEGO Club.

Has the maker movement taken hold in your library yet? Starting a maker space is easier—and less costly—than you may think. Technologies such as robotics, digital video production, computer coding, and 3-D printing may garner the most attention, but traditional activities instill the same spirit of invention, collaboration, and critical thinking of the maker phenomenon.

Hot Topic at Midwinter: Library Maker Spaces, Ideas for Cheap, Hands-On Fun

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From ebooks to digital literacy, there was plenty to debate at the Midwinter meeting of the American Library Association. But the unconference on January 25 revealed clear consensus on one topic: maker spaces. They’re red hot.

SLJ’s Top 10 Tech: 2012

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From MOOCs to open educational resources, Joyce Valenza examines the top trends of the year in technology. There are unique opportunities for librarians here and Valenza outlines specific actionables in this online version of School Library Journal’s feature story.

Libraries, Ebooks and Beyond: Library “Makers” Share How It’s Done

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Searching for some great ways to get kids hooked on creating digital content? Attendees at the October 17 Digital Shift event got some great tips from Wes Fryer, Melissa Techman, Liz Castro and Erin Daly, all participants in a panel on “Makers in the Library.”

The Makings of Maker Spaces, Part 3: A Fabulous Home for Cocreation

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Over the past year , the Fayetteville Free Library (FFL) has enjoyed the successful rollout of its Fabulous Laboratory (Fab Lab), a Maker space that resulted from the library’s commitment to community engagement and innovation. During this time, the library’s staff have been honored to speak about the Fab Lab and to explain not only its success but also the variety of challenges and assumptions that most libraries will face when developing a similar space.

The Makings of Maker Spaces, Part 2: Espress Yourself

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Over the past 40 years, public libraries have followed popular culture through the ever-more-abstract artifacts of the digital age, offering music and video in every format, public computers for Internet access, online branches, and downloadable content. Now, some libraries are following Maker culture back to things we can hold in our hands.

The Makings of Maker Spaces, Part 1: Space for Creation, Not Just Consumption

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Maker spaces in libraries are the latest step in the evolving debate over what public libraries’ core mission is or should be. From collecting in an era of scarce resources to curation in an era of overabundant ones, some libraries are moving to incorporate cocreation: providing the tools to help patrons produce their own works of art or information and sometimes also collecting the results to share with other members of the ­community.