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Creativity, making & civic engagement with Melissa Robinson, presented at the


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  • 1. Creativity, Making & Civic Engagement Teen Summit October 17, 2013 Melissa Robinson, Teen Librarian Peabody Institute Library, Peabody This workshop is presented and funded by the Massachusetts Library System (MLS) and the Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services.
  • 2. “Young people express their politics in new ways, often invisible to older generations… They prefer immediate action through volunteering rather than abstract politics.” –Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning, MacArthur Foundation 11/9/10
  • 3. What’s a makerspace? A community-operated physical space where people with common interests, often in computers, technology, science, digital art or electronic art, can meet, socialize and collaborate.
  • 4. What do you make? • • • • • • • • • • • Jewelry Woodworking Fashion & costumes Screen printing Photography 3D printing Music making & recording Webpage, video game & app design Animation Graphic design Electronics
  • 5. What libraries have them? • Allen County Indiana Public Library • Chicago Public Library Makerspace & YOUmedia digital media lab for teens • StoryLab, Tacoma, WA • Fab Lab, Fayetteville, NY • MakerStation, Fort Wayne Indiana • H.Y.P.E, Detroit Public Library
  • 6. What’s civic engagement? “Civic engagement means working to make a difference in the [civic] life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference. It means promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes.” Civic Responsibility and Higher Education, edited by Thomas Ehrlich, published by Oryx Press, 2000
  • 7. What’s the connection? “Society is stronger, and kinder, when we take time to listen to the voices around us, when we pay attention to the stories presented through the everyday creativity of fellow human beings, and when we engage helpfully in the world.” - David Gauntlett
  • 8. Examples of making & civic engagement • National Day of Civic Hacking • CivicLab in Chicago & Apps for Activists • MIT Center for Civic Media • The Change Society @ YOUmedia
  • 9. Peabody Institute Library’s Creativity Lab A collaboratively designed community makerspace that will provide all residents with the place, tools and learning opportunities they need to become creators of their own original digital and physical projects.
  • 10. Goals • Give all community members the digital and traditional tools they need to become inspired creators and explorers of science, art, technology and fabrication. • Position the library as a community convergence space for creativity, innovation and 21st Century Skills development. • Empower community members to discover ways that design, digital media and innovation can be used to participate in the cultural and civic lives of their community. • Create a collaborative of committed partners from business, educational, nonprofit and governmental agencies on the North Shore to provide leadership on creative innovation and the development of 21st Century Skills in the community. • Develop a career leadership track for young adults that includes internships or work study programs with local companies and organizations and summer employment at the Creativity Lab.
  • 11. The Space Vented area for soldering & machines Sewing Woodworking Recording Studio
  • 12. Creativity Lab Tools • • • • • • • • • 3D printer CNC machine 3D doodle pens Laser cutter Digital cameras Microphones Pen & Touch tablets Musical instruments Sewing machine & supplies • Headsets • Woodworking supplies • MacBooks •Large scale printer •Laptops •Soldering irons •Projection equipment •Breadboards •3D scanner •Video cameras •Voice recorders
  • 13. Creativity Lab Civic Engagement Programs • • • • • Restyled fashion Screen printing and t-shirt activism Future Cities Urban Design Green Team Social awareness campaigns through graphic design • Creating commercials for non-profits for community radio • Woodworking projects for Habitat for Humanity
  • 14. What if my library can’t have a makerspace? Enhance what you already have & do • Do you offer art classes or craft programs? • Do you run video game design programs? • Do have a science club or run science programs?
  • 15. “Engage” with PeaceAble Cities Evanston, IL • Teens elected to work with PeaceAble Cities on an anti-violence project. Teens learned photo techniques, took photos around their community and wrote poems to go with their favorites. The result was a traveling exhibit. Profiled in Programming Librarian’s webinar: Engage! Teens, Art & Civic Participation
  • 16. “Engage” at YOUmedia & The Art Institute of Chicago • After engaging in discussions about art and civic engagement and visiting the Art Institute of Chicago, teens used the software and technology available at the Chicago Public Library’s YOUmedia Lab to design labels for their the Gulf Water project. Profiled in the Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning, MacArthur Foundation 11/9/10
  • 17. 2012-2013 Projects • “Things I love” • What kind of footprint do you want to leave? • Yarn bombing • Artist Trading Cards • Illustrated Declaration of Human Rights “zine” • Inspirational banner • Poetry Broadsides • “Kind Bombing” • Embroidered puzzle pieces with inspirational quotes •Hip hop dance •Illustrated haikus •Protest songs •Artist palettes for Hope for Creativity
  • 18. Future Projects • • • • • • • • • Group mural T-shirt activism Day without Shoes 1000 Poets for Change Amnesty International protest song contest Upcycled art show Media literacy collage Write and perform a play about human rights Button making/activism
  • 19. Citizen Science • Treezilla Citizen scientists upload photos of trees near them. The community of users on Treezilla then helps out with the identification of the tree and its environmental benefits. • Creek Watch is a free iPhone app designed to help citizen scientists monitor the health of their local watershed. Whenever passing by a waterway, citizen scientists can use the app to snap a picture and report how much water and trash they see. • Hummingbirds at Home is a citizen science project from the National Audubon Society designed to help scientists understand how climate change, flowering patterns and feeding by people are impacting hummingbirds. On the Hummingbirds at Home website or through a free app, citizen scientists can track, report on and follow the spring hummingbird migration in real time.
  • 20. Gaming for Social Change • Peabody’s Gaming for Good program using Scratch software • Activate! Website with lessons & activities to design games that “celebrate getting active and solving problems on your street, in your town, and around the world.” •
  • 21. Another option… go mobile “The first part of my Mobile Makerspace involves storage carts on wheels, a ton of Legos, a ton of Duct Tape, cutting boards and, scariest of all, safety cutting blades (regular scissors don't work well for Duct Tape). My goal is to be able to easily move the items in and out of the meeting room to have my makerspace programs. The initial cost wasn't bad, around $1,000. And it has broad appeal for school age, tween and teens. It allows them to get their creativity and problem solving on in a safe, social environment. Eventually I would love to add some higher tech elements, but this is the right starting point for my library.” -Karen, from the Teen Librarian Toolbox
  • 22. My questions for you • What programs are you currently doing with your teens that involve making? • How could you enhance these programs to include a civic engagement component?