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Libraries are Makerspaces (ALA 2014 RUSA-MARS Hot Topics)
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Libraries are Makerspaces (ALA 2014 RUSA-MARS Hot Topics)


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  • It was, for me, one of those moments when everything shifts and all the disparate pieces – and even some you didn’t think were disparate -- came together into a crystalline, sensible structure.

    Everything looked the same, but slightly different. 

    what exactly came into focus? 
    First a little background, to make my dispositions (the things on my mind, the ball =s I was juggling, the questions I was asking) clear
  • So many things made sense
    At the time, I was looking to leave my position as Learning Commons Librarian, and Staff Trainer, and wanted to get back into instructional librarianship. So, all those BIG pieces were in my head
    designing spaces for student learning
    the future of undergraduate education
    Developing staff skills (at all levels of the library) to allow that future to come into being.
    The place of technology in learning, and libraries
    Information literacy and connecting the library more deeply into curricular development
    Social media and if it had a viable role in learning, beyond a role in outreach and community building

  • And JSB said “dispositions”(Thomas & Brown, 2011). He talked about participatory learning. And he articulated for me the idea of knowledge of making.
     Specifically, he talked about

    As the dispositions of an entrepreneurial learner

    all of that librarianship ran into these notions of dispositions and participatory learning. And I started looking at libraries very differently. Libraries had changed-- my questions and my view had. my attempts to articulate what I had been calling a "pedagogy of space" (ways of supporting, developing, providing, disposing)  non or trans disciplinary learning went from being a struggle to break new ground to a new way of seeing what was already happening.
  • The my new way of seeing intersected with a number of authors writing in every avenue-- books, blogs, tweets, conference presentations, slide decks, epic atlases.... these people were all talking on the edges and into the heart of what I was also seeing. 

    which was really, just a new way to see libraries . A new way to see what libraries always did, at a time when a lot of the library world was deeply questioning our future. Questions that I came to see come from old dispositions, and old ways of looking at what libraries did (not ways of doing. ways of seeing the same thing)
    And those disparate things gelled into one big picture. I walked around a bit stunned for a while, this big full egg had taken up residence in my head, and wasn’t really aware of all the pieces had that slicked together into this seamless whole, or how to talk about it.
    I went home, applied for jobs, did my work, and read things. Lots of things. That articulated a lot of the pieces that gelled together in that egg in my head.
    Tweets and blog posts and articles and TED Talks, by Howard Rheingold, Henry Jenkins, John Seely Brown. Slide decks and conference talks and tweets and articles by Char Booth, Buffy Hamilton, David Lankes. So many others.
  • And then, I moved into my new position. At a library that wasn’t a library, but was called a Knowledge Center. Because they meant it. They saw library the way I saw library:
    It’s about supporting researchers from sparking or finding their inspiration all the way through the final, finished product. Whatever it might be. 3D printers. Green screen. Large format printers. Instructional resources, SPSS. Knowledge production happens here, whatever shape the end product might be.
    Throughout all this, my inspiration, my movement forward, my embrace of what resonated so deeply with me – libraries are makerspaces. It’s what libraries do.

    And because I had had this paradigmatic moment, I really struggled with that struggle. But THAT struggle is what finally forced me to begin articulating this wordless resonance and action that I was inhabiting.

    What was I missing? How to understand this stress on the profession, and help move past it?

  • But at the same time, so many conversations in libraryland, so much worry and fear about what will become of us once books are gone. Who are we, if we don’t warehouse books?
  • Transcript

    • 1. Libraries Are Makerspaces Rudy Leon University of Nevada, Reno RUSA MARS Hot Topics – ALA Annual 2014
    • 2. Role of Social media in Learning Designing Spaces for learning The future of (undergrad) education Developing staff skills for maximal flexibility The place of technology in learning, and libraries Connecting the library more deeply into curricular development
    • 3. Dispositions Participatory Learning
    • 4. Barbara Fister Henry Jenkins John Paul Gee Buffy Hamilton Howard Rheingold David Lankes Char Booth
    • 5. Dispositons Participatory Learning Making
    • 6. What do libraries do? Provide access to information
    • 7. How do we do that? •We have the content to hand •We develop tools to make the content findable •We develop spaces to use the content •We provide skilled professionals to teach, train, lead users to content
    • 8. • Bring an idea, any idea, and follow it through to its end • Develop knowledge & expertise using information resources • Create new knowledge (new to the researcher, or to the world) • Seek help & expertise • Provide help & expertise • Access resources otherwise hard to locate • Do it themselves, individually or in a group Academic libraries build environments where students are empowered to:
    • 9. That sounds like a makerspace? • Bring an idea, follow it through • Build your expertise • Build something new • Seek help & expertise • Provide help and expertise • Access to resources otherwise hard to locate • DIY, with the help of the community
    • 10. Ethos of Library Ethos of Makerspace • Bring an idea, follow it through • Bring an idea, follow it through • Develop your knowledge & expertise • Build your expertise • Create new knowledge (to you or to the world) • Build something new • Seek help & expertise • Seek help & expertise • Provide help & expertise • Provide help and expertise • Access to resources otherwise hard to locate • Access to resources otherwise hard to locate • Do it yourself, or in a group • DIY, with the help of the community
    • 11. Knowledge? Film? Posters? Robots? With Growth Of 'Hacker Scouting,' More Kids Learn To Tinker : NPR, 12/23/2012
    • 12. What are we, if all the books go away?
    • 13. Image credits • Brown, J. S. (2011). A new culture of learning for a world of constant change: The entrepreneurial learner in the Anternet Age. Internet Librarian 2011 Opening Keynote presented at the Internet Librarian, Monterey, CA. Retrieved from • • jsblaughs.jpg (JPEG Image, 213 × 202 pixels) - Scaled (0%). (n.d.). Retrieved from • Bean: Wilkinson, W. (2012). Millennium Park, Chicago, IL. Retrieved from • Puzzle pieces: • All others, courtesy of the University of Nevada and the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
    • 14. Inspiration & Further Reading • Brown, J. S. (2011). Internet Librarian 2011 Opening Keynote. Presented at the Internet Librarian, Monterey, CA. Retrieved from • Hamilton, B. (2012a, June 28). Makerspaces, Participatory Learning, and Libraries. The Unquiet Librarian. Retrieved from • Hamilton, B. (2012b, July 15). The Unquiet Library-A Makerspace Culture of Learning (Buffy Hamilto... Retrieved from 2012 • Jenkins, H. (n.d.). Jenkins on Participatory Culture at newlearningonline. In New Learning: transformational designs for Pedagogy and assessment. Retrieved from literacies/jenkins-on-participatory-culture/ • Schiller, N. (2012, November 13). Hacker Values ≈ Library Values*. ACRL TechConnect. Retrieved from • Thomas, D., & Brown, J. S. (2011). A new culture of learning : cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change. Lexington, Ky.: CreateSpace?]. • With Growth Of “Hacker Scouting,” More Kids Learn To Tinker : NPR. (2012, December 23). Retrieved from