My library service is currently exploring the idea of making in libraries – specifically on the technological side of things – 3D printing, robotics, electronics, programming/coding.
We’ve run a couple of code clubs and have plans to run more. As well as this we are running our first Maker Day event this coming Saturday, with the help of Carlos Iszak, who I met at the City Mash event last summer. Carlos will be coming in with his Maker Cart kit and people will get the chance to try out 3D printing, paper cutting technology, robotics and electronics. We are also encouraging those attending to share ideas they have about making with technology, things they’ve made and their experiences around digital making in general. I’m really excited about this event and I’ll be helping out with the robotics and electronics side of things – Arduino, Makey Makey, Littlebits. It’s a hands-on event and we want to give people the chance to explore these new technologies for themselves.
The library service long term ambitions are to host a makerspace: “a place where people can meet to collaborate, create, learn, and innovate, using similar technologies to those available during our day of making.”
As well as this Maker Day event there are also 2 other events related to makerspaces in public libraries happening over the next couple of months in London that are worth attending if you’re working in libraries and want to find out more about makerspaces.
Making Library Makers: an intro (16th Feb, evening) – Carlos is also involved in this.
And finally, I wanted to share one of my favourite maker stories – one that’s especially relevant to libraries too. 14 year old William Kamkwamba’s electricity generating windmill in Malawi.