Recently a lot of libraries have been developing ideas and spaces around the maker movement and the maker culture. We have seen a giant leap in libraries as spaces for makers to make and for the Do It Yourself (DIY) community to come together and learn. Of course, libraries have always provided the knowledge for these kinds of things through our print and digital collections, but now we are seeing an emergence of libraries giving dedicated space, programming, and occasionally the tools to help our communities make it happen.
One of the big complaints that I’ve heard from librarians is that they don’t know anything about maker spaces or communities or programming. I have to say that this is almost entirely untrue. I am not at all involved in the maker movement or the community and I only just recently realized how many maker programs my library does. For example, how many of us do programs with our kids and teens making duct tape wallets? What about jewelry? How about almost any kind of craft project? These are all maker projects although we don’t think of them that way.
While maker programs like these are not about computers and technology, there are a lot of programs that you can do that are. Some examples of those things are Jason Griffey’s Library Box, renting or buying a 3D Printer, utilizing Arduino, and something as simple as taking electronic devices apart. There are tons of cheap and easy things that libraries can do to take part in the electronic/tech part of the maker movement.
In order to help us come up with some great resources for library maker programs, I created this google doc called the Maker Cookbook that you can contribute too if you have some maker ideas of your own or need something to help you come up with new ideas.
Another problem is that we need to come together around the Maker Movement and give it a good try. In order to move that conversation along and get people motivated and into the maker movement, we presented an idea at the ALA Midwinter Conference. This idea stemmed from the Library Lab (library Boing Boing) group and became #MAYkerMonday. We’d love to have more people participate! Read the details below and click this link to the FB page to let people know that your library will participate.
#MAYkerMonday will be held nationwide in libraries throughout May on every Monday. The idea is to encourage librarians to host a program for the maker community on every Monday in May. This is will be a way for libraries to show that they are participating in the maker movement and for librarians to try out some maker activities that they may not have tried before. It’s also a great way to introduce your staff to the make movement if they seem skeptical. By doing these programs, hosting a maker meetup, or maybe staff training around maker spaces for your staff each Monday in May and by using the hashtag #MAYkerMonday libraries can promote the idea that they are community spaces for creativity and learning. Sign up and join in the fun!
As part of this, we would also love for our blogging, Tumblr, Twitter, and other posting communities to use the #MAYkerMonday hashtag to promote the maker movement in libraries on every Monday in May.
This should be easy because for most libraries there are only three open Mondays in May. The fourth and the last #MAYkerMonday will be a great opportunity for librarians to use their day off to do their own maker project and join in the fun!