Let's Make

A guide for promoting making in libraries

Skills

Find out how libraries that have implemented maker activities support individuals and whole communities by helping people develop 21st century skills and enhance their chances on the job market:

  • providing access to hi-end, state-of-the-art technology, and training opportunities,
  • providing educational resources and direct support,
  • offering hands-on, project based learning opportunities, based on HOMAGO methodology (more about HOMAGO),
  • focusing on skills necessary to help solve the problems of the future (such as collaboration, creativity, critical thinking),
  • introducing new areas and disciplines in library educational activities curricula (coding, 3D animation, 3D printing),
  • inspiring and nurturing young people’s interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM),
  • creating demand for new knowledge and skills, new STEM areas: robotics, coding,
  • using gamification features or other non-traditional way of encouraging people to learn (such as digital badges),
  • providing certification classes.

Examples, stories:

The Studio – a digital learning lab at Anythink Libraries supports teens in learning the 21st century skills of collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking – skills necessary to help solve problems of the future.

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HiTech is the Howard County Library System’s educational initiative for teens, where students aged 11-18 are taught cutting-edge science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) via project-based classes that include computer programming (Python and Javascript), 3D animation, nanotechnology, music/video production, e-books, game apps, cybersecurity, green energy, and robotics. HiTech’s curriculum comprises four modules: Interact, Improvise, Invent, and Instruct (the Academy), each incorporating progressively greater levels of instruction. Upcoming classes include Genetics: Biology and Nanotechnology; Gamification; Advanced Robotics; Wearable Technologies; and Augmented Reality.

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HiTech’s curriculum is available here.

IdeaLAB in Denver Public Library (Colorado, US) is a digital media lab for teens which offers equipment and software for making videos, music, games, art and more. It provides workshops and special events (including 3D printing jewelry for girls), and participants may use project cards – guidelines, descriptions of tools and suggested activities. After finishing their projects teens earn digital badges as they learn new skills and show off their works on the ideaLab’s website.

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Badges for learning skills are also used by Skokie Public Library in its Digital Media Lab. Since September 2013 forty-nine badges have been earned by children in Skokie Library’s Maker Master Challenge. Children earn badges through completing learning objectives by mastering using greenscreen techniques to edit videos and photos, creating a program with introductory software such as Scratch, and much more.

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In Edmonton Public Library’ Makerspace (Canada) tours and classes were organized for participants from grade 2 to college level. Curriculum included 3D printing, Scratch, creative physical computing with Makey Makey and Little Bits, robotics, and book publishing. 3D modelling workshops were also hosted for city departments, local youth groups, an agency-sponsored group of women re- entering the workforce, and a division of teachers assigned to lead project based learning.

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Howard County Library System’ patrons participating in the HiTech initiative learned game design. Students successfully developed two mobile games, Escape From Detention and Cyborg Glitch. They developed game logic, layout, characters, music, and sound effects to create the humorous and challenging games. Both games are available for free from iTunes and Google Play.

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ELA Area Public Library makes available on its website Quick Start Guides to assist users of its Digital Media Lab with their digital projects. Quick start guides are available online in PDF format.

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Digital Innovation Hubs – a makerspace in the Toronto Public Library in Canada offers 3D printing certification classes. Staff members show participants how to use the 3D printer. Class’s curriculum includes proper and safe use of the printer, preparation of a 3D design file for print and rules and guidelines. Customers must complete this 3D printer certification before they can use the 3D printer independently.

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