What is a makerspace and why are we building one?

You may have seen some advertisements lately for our monthly Pinterest project workshops we’re starting (if you haven’t, look for them and sign up!). We are beginning to build our makerspace and these workshops are a part of that venture.

A student commented to me, yesterday, that libraries were not the first thing that they thought of when they thought of making crafts. That may be the perception of a lot of people, but the functionality of libraries is being expanded and redefined and makerspaces are the wave of the future.

So, what is a makerspace? It is a do-it-yourself creative space where people are invited to build, invent, and learn. Makerspaces provide patrons with the space, tools, and freedom to create and explore in a hands-on environment. More and more libraries across the country are adding makerspaces to promote learning in new, interactive ways that are open to the public.

Right now, our makerspace is very humble. We have our awesome 3D printer which I know some of you are dying to use (get over here, already!), some paints, some markers, and some Legos, but we are just starting out. So far, all of our materials for our makerspace have been donated. If you have some items that you would like to donate, or you know someone who may, please contact us. In addition to craft items, we would also like to add STEM related materials. Some of the items that we would like to add in the future include a soldering iron, a sewing machine, carpentry materials, and circuitry kits.  Look for us to be adding to our makerspace continuously as time progresses.

In the mean time, I’d like to invite you to participate in our Pinterest Project workshops. We will be having one workshop a month. This month’s workshop is “Creative Pumpkin Decorating.” We will provide the supplies, the space, and the help (if needed). The pumpkins we are making are a Glow Pumpkin, a Sharpie Pumpkin, and a Mirrored Pumpkin.

The Glow Pumpkin is $5.00. This includes all materials used to make the pumpkin including the small plastic pumpkin, itself. We will be making designs on the pumpkin with painter’s tape, spray painting the pumpkin with glow-in-the-dark spray paint, and then removing the painter’s tape when it’s dry for cool glow-in-the-dark designs.

The Sharpie Pumpkin is $5.00. This includes all materials used to make the pumpkin including the small plastic pumpkin, itself. We will be spray painting the pumpkin white and then from there, the design is totally up to you. We have an array of colorful sharpies to choose from. You could put anything on your pumpkin from a plaid design to poetry. The possibilities are endless and you can make your pumpkin just as unique as you!

The Mirrored Pumpkin is $10.00. This includes all materials used to make the pumpkin including the glass pumpkin, itself. We will be spray painting the inside and lid of the pumpkin with a mirrored spray paint. This is probably the simplest project with the biggest “wow” factor. It’s super easy to make and it just looks awesome. It’s mirrored but not completely opaque. An example of this pumpkin can be found at the front desk of the Library.

Examples of the Glow Pumpkin and Sharpie Pumpkin can be found on the shelves of our makerspace, in our former children’s section.

Our Pinterest Project workshop, this month, will be held this Friday, October 16th, from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM. If you would like to sign up or you know someone who would, please use the sign up sheet located in our makerspace. All money is due by 5:00 PM on Thursday, October 15th. If you would like to do the project, but can’t make it for the workshop, you may still sign up and pay the fee and we will hold your pumpkin for you until you are able to pick it up to do the project at your leisure.

We are very excited to be starting a makerspace here at DC3 Library and we hope that you’re excited too. We encourage you to stop by and use our space, get your hands dirty, and create!!

If you would like to read more information on makerspaces and examples of what some libraries are doing with theirs, try some of these articles:

http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2015/09/16/making-it-academic-world/

http://www.psmag.com/nature-and-technology/libraries-are-the-future-of-manufacturing-in-the-united-states

http://www.betaboston.com/news/2015/06/23/coming-soon-to-your-local-library-3-d-printers-and-soldering-irons/

http://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2015/07/31/makerspaces-libraries-carve-out-areas-for-interactive-learning-focused-on-stem-skills/

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2 thoughts on “What is a makerspace and why are we building one?

  1. Pingback: Our November Pinterest Project Workshop features holiday-themed crafts! | dc3library

  2. Pingback: Library Happenings for the 2016-2017 School Year | dc3library

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