Week 9 – Twitter Chat Champion Reflection – Makerspaces

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Morpheuss17 Steven Walker 1 year, 9 months ago.

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  • #1762
    Morpheuss17
    Steven Walker
    Participant

    Week 9 – Twitter Chat Champion Reflection – Makerspaces.

     

    The concept of libraries as makerspaces first hit my radar this year when I heard about them in class delivered by Kate Davis in IFN614.  As I began hearing more buzz about libraries and makerspaces in later months of this year, I decided that learning more about this concept and exploring how I might apply the elements of makerspaces to a library summer project that is running in the summer called INN665 and this program would be a personal learning project to finish my Masters on.

    So what is a makerspace?  Makerspace defines it as:

    Modeled after hackerspaces, a makerspace is a place where young people have an opportunity to explore their own interests, learn to use tools and materials, and develop creative projects. It could be embedded inside an existing organization or standalone on its own. It could be a simple room in a building or an outbuilding that’s closer to a shed. The key is that it can adapt to a wide variety of uses and can be shaped by educational purposes as well as the students’ creative goals.

    Makerspaces are an important asset for libraries, a playground, a vibrant creative arena and Makerspaces are not even needed for Libraries  to maintain and stay relevant in my professional opinion, Lets explore a little bit…I only found that the Brisbane City Council Runs them when I decided I needed some free Wi Fi and entered their building on George Street in Brisbane City. Furthermore I have come to this conclusion since participating in the Week 9 Twitter campaign that Makerspaces are unique and are a world of creative fun, allowing kids, teenagers, generation X etc all to come to one place and do something that they love, something similar to what I did in Kalgoorlie as you may have read in my previous posts about a Menshed program I attended. I came to a point in our twitter dicussions that many of the participants in this weeks twitter were extremely passionate about having a library that is innovative and interactive and is not just somewhere for books to be found. Even though Makerspaces are actually quite old dating back to when they were for arts and crafts , they have not always been front and centre for libraries.

    Makerspaces have been this evolving and changing area in Libraries for a while now and have very rapidly changed due to the influx of technology since the birth of the conventional internet as we know it (1995 onwards for me, however history states 1990) and the related technologies that have spawned along with the internet, this also includes peripherals like 3d Printers which I will talk about later. I am of the opinion that during the early 2000’s that libraries were feeling threatened by the internet and that they felt that they had to evolve in order to stay relevant and have people still using them.

    After reading heavily about this topic with the literature provided this week and also further research that I have conducted myself I have found that libraries were never really struggling at all and it just so happens that Makerspaces are one aspect of a plethora of other “things” that a Library does, which is also like this degree IN22, its opening up a whole world that I never knew existed until the lecture and twitter chat. I did read up a huge amount about Makerspaces in order to prepare my answers for being the twitter champion because I felt it was my responsibility to be able to answer the non champions questions, whilst also enlightening and deepening my knowledge, they aren’t just a “tool” they are a social diverse way to create.

    In education there has been a large focus on makerspaces. So….Have the children of today lost the ability to create and invent? Has the replacement of Legos and Play-Doh with iPads and Xboxes’ removed the natural curiosity to make things in our youth? Pioneers of the emerging ‘Makerspace Movement’ will disagree and instead suggest that students just need the space and time to let their creativity flourish.

    Part of the trending ‘DIY Culture’, the ‘Maker’ subculture refers to the ideology of cutting out the middleman and creating our own product or idea which can then be shared or improved upon. The ideology of the Maker Movement is to discover through the sharing of ideas and many enthusiasts like myself use the internet to find like-minded people to commune with. As mentioned I used the Menshed in Kalgoorlie (see below). This is education in disguise, and in my opinion if it works lets bring it mainstream, the way to do it? My answer is through Libraries.

    twitter comment

    Image Source: Post from “Twitter.com” deom #ifn614makechat @morpheus_s17

    Many comments struck my interest and one by Chris Sonneveld@C_Sonn stated “A1 Creativity is an important part of growing up. Schools might not encourage it so it’s up to libraries.” so there you have it! Now with regards to resourcing and funding these there are Libraries that can’t afford to run them or there is not interest however on the flipside there are others who do have a good Makerspace areas, and its those in particular geographical socio economic regions which might be able to behold such makerspaces that can have cool things like 3d printers, like the one in the Sacramento in California USA, which from my readings is the perfect model of a overseas Makerspace Library. I believe it is a good quantum leap forward for a library to have a 3D printer for example as it shows they are staying relevant and above and beyond the requirements of the community and also drawing more potential clients and customers in as shown in Week 10 Chapter 17: Assessment in Evans, G.; Saponaro, Margaret; Christie, Holland; Sinwell, Carol (2015). Library Programs and Services: The Fundamentals, 8th Edition. Because this library in Sacramento is state of the art. I have included a screenshot to show you just how advanced they are! :

    sacramento

    Image Source : Saramento Public Library (2015)

    I found one twitter comment by Deborah Fuller intriguing, she asked “is youtube a makerspace”. Now that is a good question from this weeks twitter in my opinion. Because it is relevant and from what I have read about Makerspaces, which these days are all about technology (but not necessarily as the definition above states) however  it certainly does fit the criteria or “idea” of a type of  Makerspace. As we all know Youtube allows a person to make a video and edit a video…all the way to even monetising the video if it becomes a successful enough, so its a debatable aspect and if I had the chance I would ask the group a question “@ifn614 What aspects of Youtube make it a Makerspace, or not, and describe it for me.. ?” . The Answers I am confident would be numerous, and when I think of Youtube now I see it as separate media medium for all industries around today to spread advertising not just home movies that are cool, just like Facebook, Twitter etc, They are all too big to be a Makerspace. So for the sake of keeping it simple for me a Makerspace is a particular place in a Library that has been developed and evolves along with creativity of an indivdual or group project. Thinking of a Youtube being a Makerspace just blows it out for me, at least at my comprehension of what I see a Makerspace being.

    So in conclusion from the twitter champion that I was, I self reflected and was come to the opinion that I support the use of Library Makerspaces and fully understand them, more so, after the class and great Class that Kate ran. I will finish with this quote from the Tennessee Public Library in the USA. Which is a perfect example why libraries should take up makerspaces and why I support them. “The director of the library system, Corinne Hill, said that on her arrival in 2012 the library was spending thousands on reference tomes that barely anybody was using.  A total waste of money, Hill realised something had to be done. Her team shifted a $5.7 million budget and made room for 3-D printers and vinyl cutters, and started stocking shelves with more popular titles….So instead of spending $10,000 for access to little-used academic journals, the library purchased 3-D printers for around $2,000, a laser cutter for around $5,000, and a vinyl cutter for $3,000.” Makerspaces are here to stay! and to come!

    Refereces and Resouces used:

    http://oedb.org/ilibrarian/a-librarians-guide-to-makerspaces/

    http://www.etched.com.au/future-of-the-public-library/

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2011/0627/Public-libraries-fight-to-stay-relevant-in-digital-age

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2011/0627/Public-libraries-fight-to-stay-relevant-in-digital-age

    Chapter 17: Assessment in Evans, G.; Saponaro, Margaret; Christie, Holland; Sinwell, Carol (2015). Library Programs and Services: The Fundamentals, 8th Edition

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  • #2207
    SarahRoss
    Sarah Ross
    Participant

    Right, Velociraptor – have no idea what this about – behave!  Or cat videos will follow …

     

  • #2866
    Crowedawson
    Caitlin .
    Participant

    Hi Steve,

    Your post covers many different areas, I too have seen maker spaces before without knowing they had such a title. I agree that high tech items such as 3 d printers can be part of a normal progression an innovation in our changing environment however I think they will take an innovative approach to receive grants and funding to allow there purchase or as you pointed out a re distribution of existing dollars . I have attached a unique article below detailing a STEM program which involved a 3d printer and seismograph in a public library the way it was utilised by so many areas of the community was very enlightening.

    Caitlin

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  • #2879
    Samantha
    Samantha Maddox
    Participant

    Hi Steve, your experience in the Kalgoorlie Regional Library is a true reflection of how great maker spaces are and the diverse groups of people that come and utilise the space. Nice reflection 🙂

  • #2962
    Morpheuss17
    Steven Walker
    Participant

    Thanks all for your input ” it is most appreciated 🙂

  • #2970
    Morpheuss17
    Steven Walker
    Participant

    Thank you all, have any of you guys been to a regional area, and experienced this?

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by Morpheuss17 Steven Walker.
  • #2979
    Morpheuss17
    Steven Walker
    Participant

    Ran out of time to try and make it make sense, it is still chicken sctrach and i could have done much better, i would have  started over but i had to help my sister try and get her passport before friday … which i didnt expect to come up ..sorry Kate, I did edit it but not as much as i wanted to..

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