First of all, if you’re not already on the Library Makers Facebook group — join now! It’s a great group!
I have been reading this book and am excited to join in the book discussion and chat with the author. What a wonderful idea! Register here.
Click here to access a stellar document about Makerspaces — the Youth Makerspace Playbook by MakerEd!
Whether you are in the planning stages or have been running your space for years — you’ll find something useful here. One of my favorite things in this document is Appendix D, which speaks about language use. It is so important to be intentional with the language you are using with your makers. For example, we might have a young person who isn’t sure how to start or wants specific examples, instructions, etc. We might say something like, “I hear that you’re having a hard time getting started and would prefer an example. I do have some if you’d like, but how about waiting a bit and seeing what others are trying out? Perhaps something will inspire you. Try just messing around first, just playing and having fun. I’ll check back with you in a bit to see how you’re feeling.” I love that!
Makers in the Library is offering a free 5-week series of webinars for developing and sustaining your Makerspace! April 6 – May 4, 2022. Register here.
From the Makers in the Library Website:
We begin our journey focused on the people in your library and community, spending time understanding their talents, interests, and resources. Relationships take time to develop, so it’s best to start here to lay the foundation. This asset-based approach allows the process to grow naturally, rooted in community needs and library capacity.
Webinar 2: Brainstorm & Prototype: Out of the Box Thinking and Testing Ideas
This part of the process should stretch your imaginations and generate a wealth of ideas for different ways to build a program in response to earning from the community. Then give a few of the ideas a practical test to see how it goes in real life.
Webinar 3: Implementation: The Nitty Gritty of Planning and Preparing Creative Maker Experiences
To help you think through all of the steps needed to make your makerspace happen, we’ve made this week longer-90 minutes-and divided this section into 2 parts: Prepare and Launch. Prepare starts with setting concrete goals and making a plan to achieve them, while keeping in mind your budget, the activities you want to offer, and the environment you want to create. Then, in Launch, we move into how to staff your space, along with the training and operational systems you need to have in place
Webinar 4: Reflect & Refine: Using Evaluation to Strengthen Programs
Our process empowers your maker program to be nimble, responsive, and striving for continuous improvement and growth. This involves developing systems and habits for documenting and reflecting on how the program is going, as well as refining the program to make it stronger. Reflection can be a daily practice for individuals, but program staff should also periodically reflect as a team too, perhaps monthly or even weekly until the program has become more established.
Webinar 5: Amplify & Grow: Marketing, Fundraising and Professional Growth
With your makerspace programming launched and in effect, the focus shifts to sustainability. Each and every one of you has a part to play in the sustainability of your makerspace—which inherently includes asking for donations (whether through fundraising or grant writing), building strong partnerships, and most importantly, marketing your makerspace through telling the stories of the impact your programming has had on the community.
I am so excited for these! Hope to see you there 🙂
From the video description:
“Creating and starting a makerspace is an exciting venture; you build a team and purchase new equipment. There are a lot of resources (people and articles) that describe how emergent makerspaces can get off the ground. Once your makerspace has been open for a few years, you begin to experience challenges that are distinctly different from those start-up challenges, and there are very few, if any, resources that describe what this new, “post-emergent” phase entails. Three labs in the YOUmedia Learning Labs Network will lead you through a workshop where they present and talk through a framework that supports makerspaces in thinking through what this phase involves, and how to not be caught off guard by those challenges.”Education Innovator on YouTube