My recurring theme is getting makerspaces into the key learning institutions of society.
When I can present my ideas to an audience which can make a difference, it’s worthwhile. Such was the case at ILEAD USA, a nine month-long program with 28 teams of library leaders from five states. My goal was to provide the background for modern making and then place it in the context of a library. I also spoke of participatory learning, models for implementation and proposed projects which could facilitate making in libraries.
As of this writing, one of five projects has been taken-on. An Illinois team is working with Instructables and the American Library Association to tailor a projects database to meet library needs. I can hardly wait to see what comes from the collaboration!
My speeches in their entirety can be seen here:
Of course, I can’t drive from Chicago to Springfield without soaking up Route 66.
This was the perfect blend of work and play!
Held in Artisan’s Asylum with 35,000 sq ft and 140 artisan stalls, this place was a site to behold!
Every new makerspace is an adventure. For some it’s a good ride and for others it’s not. The difference can often be attributed to the skills and experience of team members. Some are better prepared to deal with a myriad of issues but most are not. It is this gap which we were trying to address at “How to Make a Makerspace“. Continue reading
The American Library Association holds two major conferences each year and this year the smaller of the two, Midwinter, was held in Seattle. A feature added this year was a track about making in libraries called “Maker Monday“. There were several presentations but the featured speeches involved Dale Dougherty and me in a session entitled “The Maker Movement Comes to Libraries“. We were very pleasantly surprised by the turnout.
I increasingly believe that making is in the future of libraries.
The “Hardware Innovation Workshop” is a finalist in two categories of the FAME Awards in the “best first-time event” & “best overall single event (business-to-business)” categories. This is a total surprise and a total delight for me as I’m quite proud of the work we did last year and am pleased to see it be recognized.
The American Library Association is serious about making. They had me present at last year’s Mapping Transformation conference then they asked me to follow up with an article for their American Libraries Magazine. I drove across the U.S. and visited ten libraries with makerspace ambitions out of which I sussed three successful models for implementation. My article was featured in their Manufacturing Makerspaces compilation; their editors did a wonderful job with the entire section.
It’s a wonderful thing to watch others discover making. One clue is when a group asks for a speaker which is out of their mainstream. For the Ohio Library Council to ask me to present at their Widen the Lens conference is a bold step out of their safe zone. When my speech ends up being so well attended, when people are so curious, when follow-on dialog shows a strong desire to embrace making, well, it’s just remarkably gratifying.
Katie Perry is a multifunctional unicorn that shoots fire out of its horn and pees the beverage of your choice. Weird, I know, but such a delight that people will come up with such crazy ideas and make them real. She appeared at Maker Faire.
Maker Faire it’s just plain fun! This was the third year in NYC and this year Mayor Bloomberg declared it Maker Week. Amazing! The result was a huge increase in attendance over last year to 55,000 people across the two days. With 500 exhibits, a roster of speakers (that kept me busy running from venue to venue), many how-to workshops and a wide variety of attractions I was flat-out on a tear all weekend. My official agenda was constantly being adjusted by chance meetings with friends, impromptu business meetings, and interviews for articles. The MAKE folk work very hard to pull off excellent events and I think they do a remarkable job … as do the legions of volunteers.
The goodie bag had a lego-based name tag.
The Open Hardware Summit and World Maker Faire were back-to-back in New York so how could I be anywhere other than in the New York City during this week? The Open Hardware Summit is a chance to get current while meeting many people who care about advancing the powerful concepts of sharing hardware designs. Continue reading
“What next?” cringed the librarian.
As lending books becomes a less dominant theme within libraries, the question asked is “What next?” I took a cross-country tour visiting a variety of libraries which have expressed interest in makerspaces to learn what they’re planning. My goal was to gain a little insight to help advance the aspiration of having more libraries offer making programs and more maker spaces. I will be sharing my learnings with the library and maker communities through MAKE and American Libraries, the journal of the American Libraries Association.
There were ten libraries I visited and spoke with from which I drew a few conclusions.
Hardware Innovation Workshop
A pretty cryptic title, I agree.
Too often we delve into a world of insider codes using of three letter acronyms without thinking about our audience. In this case “HIW” is Hardware Innovation Workshop, the conference I co-chaired with Dale Dougherty at Xerox PARC back in May. The “CTO” stands for Chief Technology Officer which is often the senior technology title in a company. What the title refers to is my having delivered an ultra-condensed summary of the HIW to the Washington Area CTO Roundtable.