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!
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 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 🙂
If there is one place to get started or up your makerspace game, it’s at Makers in the Library. What an incredible resource! Supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, this website provides an in-depth toolkit that covers virtually every aspect of makerspaces, including a whole lot of extremely helpful planning tools.
Their excel spreadsheets are a gamechanger. Check out the action plan spreadsheet and – best of all because I’m a nerd – the budget spreadsheet! I am always so grateful when people create beautiful spreadsheets full of formulas that I could never figure out.