Libraries are undergoing change. Once a place of reference and page turning, the common library is growing into an exponentially connected space. A place, where all ages reach beyond the page, expanding out beyond computers and now, launching into Makerspace labs.
United States and International Libraries are leading the trend of giving Makers… their Space. In the last few years, STEM Labs have been cropping up in Public and University libraries, proving Makerspace is more than a trend.
“In these future-focused libraries, students sip lattes while they do research in café-styled spaces, collaborate on group projects in glass-walled study rooms and move flexible furniture to suit their group and project needs.” – Ed Tech Magazine.
We’ve been conditioned to stay quiet in the library.
Books covered shelves while whispers decorated silent sound. Today the transforming library will require 3D-printers, laser-cutting, fabrication, endless technology from green screens to online video capture tools available to record workshops, lectures, and courses with cameras and hardware to support creative endeavors while crafting on flexible furniture or using Dremel drills, sewing machines and a list that continues on and on.
Diana Rendina, Librarian and industry influencer, discusses “How to reimagine your library space and transform student learning,” immediately following the powerful American Association of School Librarian (AASL) conference, this November 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. Her session speaks to all facets of education, regarding libraries and elevated learning.
As the Culture Grows, so do Libraries
Since 2014, the Library at University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, has featured a 3D Studio for Makerspace, supporting Makers, Hackers, DIYs and Hobbyists. One of the first of its kind, this library offers informative guides for innovation, to help lead the way for others.
Also in Tuscaloosa, AL the Bolden Weaver Public Library has Makerspace for kids 10+. They share ideas on their local website. View the projects they are doing.
Fairs and Competitions target the scene with ultra-creative ways to team up Labs, Makerspace and Libraries.
The Johnson County Library in Kansas bridges the gap between Events, Arts and more. Check out how they used a 3D lens to “orb” together two videos, making a live stream of their Maker Lab. Proving even in their video output, the Makers pushed creative boundaries!
Whether on the Public or University level, sharing developments through technology, via blogs and video helps support this growing culture commanding attention toward a collaborative way of learning.
Leadership from the Library – Key to New Digital Economy
Amongst all the buzz, typically teachers, professors, and volunteer mentors help oversee Makerlabs, with Library Branch Managers discovering new roles. While Libraries and Makerspace Labs are both seen as sites of informal learning, the complex nature of the result is catapulting the position leaders hold in the library.
Chief Education Evangelist, Jaime Casap “stressed that we are at the beginning of this new model, and librarians and teachers are at the forefront of its adoption. “Kids today have hundreds of libraries at their fingertips,” he says. “Librarians need to help kids navigate this information and use it correctly.”
As a society, we are part of the transformative times for the future of how we learn together. The changing landscape of our libraries is a foundational place to share the leading edge of ideas. It seems librarians are far from fading out of a role with tools like Collaaj pioneering the shift to Type Less and Show More.
Written by: Chelsie Foster @chelsiefoster
Colab: Kati Mac