Librarians lead the way in maker programs, coding, robotics, and 3D printing.
As noted in this earlier post, the roles of librarians are shifting by creating, among other things, participatory learning spaces, maker programs, and 3D printing access.
The American Library Association’s (ALA) 2014 Digital Inclusion Survey documents these changing roles, as reflected in the following emerging trends as libraries expand services:
- STEM maker spaces (16.8 percent)
- Social media training (45.8 percent)
- Wireless printing (33 percent)
- 3D printing (2 percent)
- Hosting hackathons (2 percent)
- Hosting coding and application development events (2 percent)
In a ALA press release, it was noted:
Creation and making activities already are transforming what is possible for communities through libraries. At the Johnson County Library in Kansas, for instance, a library patron printed a mechanical hand for a family friend. High school student Mason Wilde loaded needed blueprints onto library computers and used the library’s 3D printer to create the necessary parts. Wilde then decided to start a nonprofit to make 3D prosthetics for other children, and he is now considering a career in the biomedical field.
“‘Creating is becoming a new digital competency, and libraries are building and expanding their programs and services to meet these changing community needs,’” said Ann Joslin, President of the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies. Joslin also is the state librarian in Idaho, which currently has a pilot program underway to support library maker activities and encourage the use of new technologies and tools.
“Creating is becoming a new digital competency.”
Ann Joslin, President of the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies
In the School Library Journal, read about the growth of maker spaces in Meet the Makers: Can a DIY Movement Revolutionize How We Learn?; Not Your Mama’s Library Program; and Low Tech, High Gains: Starting a Maker Program Is Easier Than You Think. These articles attest to how librarians lead students in undertaking tinkering, making, coding, and robotics in participatory learning spaces.
How is your library supporting the maker movement, coding, and robotics? What tips would you provide to someone beginning a maker movement in her library?
Running the Digital River of Learning with You,