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Making a Makerspace Happen


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Talk given at the 2015 ALA Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA.

This presentation will provide an overview of the current practices in makerspaces in three categories: academic libraries, school libraries, and local membership-based makerspaces. Mediated vs. open service model, various programming and marketing approaches, and the space and staffing considerations will be discussed with pros and cons to provide a solid starting point for creating a makerspace. We will also share some findings from experimenting with 3D printing devices and equipment at University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Published in: Technology

Making a Makerspace Happen

  1. 1. Bohyun Kim, Associate Director for Library Applications and Knowledge Systems Everly Brown, Head of Information Services University of Maryland, Baltimore, Health Sciences and Human Services ALA Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA Sat. June 27, 2015 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm
  2. 2. A. Planning for a Makerspace • Current practices in makerspaces in academic libraries, school libraries, and local communities • Mediated vs. open service model B. Implementation Process C. Challenges & Lessons Learned • Programming and marketing • Space and staffing considerations D. Current Use & Future Directions E. Q & A
  3. 3. University of Maryland, Baltimore – Health Sciences and Human Services Library
  4. 4. • University of Maryland, Baltimore – Health Science Campus. • Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Pharmacy, Social Work, Graduate, and Law Schools are present. • No engineering or art school on the campus. • Few examples of a makerspace at a large academic health sciences library.
  5. 5. • University of Virginia, Claude Moore Health Sciences Library • Purchased a 3D printer, but it was never put on the floor. • Users contact the library to use the 3D printer. • University of Michigan, Taubman Health Sciences Library • No makerspace facility. • Refers patrons to the large makerspace facility in the main university library. • Currently under construction and has no walk-in patrons.
  6. 6. • Convened early spring, 2014. • Two associate directors chaired the Task Force. • AD in Library Applications and Knowledge Systems (LAKS) • AD in Operations • Members • Head of the Information Services • Instructional technologist – IT/LAKS • Subcommittee • IT support specialist – IT/LAKS • Reference specialist – Services
  7. 7. • “Write a report with recommendations to create a makerspace within the HS/HSL. The aim of the makerspace is to promote technological experimentation and idea prototyping at UMB. The report should address the topics below and any others relevant to the development of the space.”
  8. 8. • Definition and scope of makerspace at the HS/HSL • Benefits or value to the University community • Equipment/technology, software, tools, etc. • Potential locations within the building and associated building modifications necessary • Expertise required to manage and maintain the space • Expertise required to offer (any) services • Audience for the space • Ways to engage users or stakeholders in the design • Potential campus partners and scalability of the project • Recommendations to keep in front of the technology • Possible funding models (cost recovery, partnerships in funding, for instance)
  9. 9. • What exactly a makerspace is. • Whether it is relevant to UMB and HS/HSL. • What it would take to create one at HS/HSL. • What kind of service it will provide. • How it can be managed by the existing staff. • How it can be promoted to the campus. • Details such as location, service model, staffing, equipment for implementation • Cost and the funding model
  10. 10. • The HS/HSL was interested in investing in innovative technology such as 3D printing and a makerspace. • In light of the tight operating budget, the HS/HSL needed to ensure that such investment would be relevant to the campus community and justifiable from the financial point of view at the same time.
  11. 11. 1. White Paper (over 70 pages) I. Executive Summary II. Why Do We Want a Makerspace at UMB HS/HSL? III. Environmental Scan IV. Recommendations for HS/HSL V. References VI. 6 Appendices 2. Meetings with the potential stakeholders on campus 3. Site visits – Johns Hopkins, Fab Lab at CCBC, MICA, BUGSS
  12. 12. • Appendix 1. Environmental scan: academic library makerspaces • Appendix 2. Environmental scan: local makerspaces • Appendix 3. Environmental scan: public library makerspaces • Appendix 4. List of equipment and tools for the HS/HSL makerspace • Appendix 5. Learning experience with a 3d modeling software, Google SketchUp/Tinkercad • Appendix 6. Google SketchUp user guide
  13. 13. • Literature review & makerspace webpages & site visits • Vision • Role • Staffing • Service • Programming • Space • Equipment • Operation Policies • Cost Recovery & Funding • Usage Pattern
  14. 14. • Vision – Little information online (Due to the experimental nature?) • Role – Universal access to new technology on campus; Rapid prototyping for independent study, research, instruction, course projects • Staffing – Students or existing library staff, shorter hours (often by appointment) • Service – Mediated service model (Exception: Univ. of Alabama’s open-access model) • Programming – varying degree of support with 3D printing (less for 3D modeling) • Space – Often at science and engineering libraries • Equipment – Mostly 3D printers • Operation Policies – Costs and FAQs • Cost Recovery & Funding – Charge by weight • Usage Pattern – Demand may be small but the high rate of repeat users
  15. 15. • The local makerspaces reviewed include five at academic institutions and several independent membership-based makerspaces such as Baltimore Node, Baltimore Hackerspace, and Baltimore Underground Science Space (BUGSS). • Among these, the Task Force visited 4 local makerspaces : • DMC at JHU • Fab Lab at CCBC • Digital Fabrication Studio at MICA • Baltimore Underground Science Space (BUGSS) • It is to be noted that the four local makerspaces at JHU, CCBC, MICA, and Towson do not belong to a library.
  16. 16. • Vision: Promotion of science and research; Creation; Innovation • Role: Rapid prototyping, course projects, biotechnology for the public • Staffing: Fully-staffed vs. only during certain hours • Service: Equipment checkout, use, workshop, group-training, on-site help • Programming: Workshops and gatherings well attended. • Space: 1,500-3,400 sq. ft. • Equipment: 3D printer, scanner, laser cutter, CNC router, other machinery • Operation Policies: Safety training, set hours, staff help vs. collaboration • Cost Recovery & Funding: Student fees vs. membership dues. Startup funding often from donations. • Usage Pattern: Importance of building an active maker community
  17. 17. • Vision: A communal space for inspiration, creation, collaboration • Role: Commitment to community service (sometimes limited to teens or children) • Staffing: A limited schedule • Service: Mostly library staff with some training • Programming: A wide range of classes – 3D cookie cutter lab, R-Pi, audio-engineering, robotics club, Arduino, etc. • Space: Large rooms with many broad tables, equipment, supplies • Equipment: 3D printers, laser cutters, etc. • Operation Policies: Required classes before un-mediated work with machinery
  18. 18. • Vision: Promote, support, and facilitate hands-on learning and research activities and creative experimentation, which are vital to innovation. • Role: Provide access to 3D printing/modeling technology to enable UMB students, faculty, and researchers to quickly build a prototype to test theoretical ideas and concepts and to keep them up-to-date with technologies that drive current innovations in healthcare and biomedical research.
  19. 19. • Service Model: We recommend the HS/HSL makerspace operate on the open studio model with the mandatory completion of safety training and a workshop that introduces patrons to the basics of 3D modeling and the other tools and resources available in the makerspace. • Educational Training: We recommend that the HS/HSL makerspace offer regular training and workshops on 3D modeling to grow more 3D modeling users on campus.
  20. 20. • Access Policy: The HS/HSL makerspace should be open and accessible to all UMB students, faculty, and researchers. The Task Force recommends that users complete mandatory safety training and the introductory workshop on 3D modeling and 3D printing before being granted the full access. • Makerspace Programming Committee: This committee will plan and organize interesting talks, presentations, making activities, and workshops by inviting UMB students and faculty and other local makers and scientists.
  21. 21. • Apr. 2014: Task Force convened • July 31, 2014: White paper released • Presented to the library administration and librarians. • The white paper by the Task Force was received favorably. • The library staff was enthusiastic about having a makerspace at the HS/HSL. • Equipment purchase approved and ordered. • Nov. 2014: Equipment in the library! • Nov. 2014: Getting used to 3D printing and 3D modeling • Dec. 2014: Jan. 2015 – Staff training • Feb. – Mar. 2015: All the things implementation! Location, Space preparation, Policy, Staff workflow, Web development, Signage, LibGuide, LibCal, Orientation design and orienter training, Pricing scheme, Promotion, Naming contest, and more. • Apr. 21, 2015: The Innovation Space Launch
  22. 22. • Location: Brought in existing tables and unused long cabinet to the empty area next to the Reference Desk (apprx. 300 sq. ft.) • Service: Open service model with the mandatory orientation/safety training • Security: Honor system • Staffing: 4-5 Orienters (all IT except 1 Reference Desk staff) The Reference Desk staff handles the pick-up process of the 3D printed objects and also answers questions by curious patrons passing by. • Pricing: $3 for up to 1 hr of 3D printing time + $1 per hr after. (No charge for a failed print) • Payment: Circulation desk where library fines are paid.
  23. 23. • Budget for equipment purchase • Campus partnership for funding • Possible grants • Location / Space / Furniture & Equipment Security • Ultimately depends on what the budget allows for you to do. • Pricing • Payment • Staff training, Staffing, Staff workflow
  24. 24. • Staff • Learning to operate and being ready to serve takes time. • Staff training for both staff buy-in and to relieve staff anxiety • Staff workflow was created with full feedback from both the IT and the Reference desk staff. • Campus stakeholders • Engaging campus stakeholders is an ongoing process. • Interest =/= Willingness to invest • The Initiative by a library is sometimes crucial. • HS/HSL Innovation Space is the only open-access facility for 3D printing and scanning on the UMB campus.
  25. 25. • IT staff had a month to explore 3D printers in their area. • To build staff confidence about the new technology, a unique staff training model was developed. • The IT and the Reference Desk staff were paired to train together. • Scheduled and watched two tutorials together. • A team exercise was created, and a detailed libguide was drafted to walk through the 3D printing process step-by-step. • IT and Reference desk staff were divided into two-member teams and did 3D printing exercises together to become comfortable with the new technology. • After the group training, the team exercise, and the 3D printing assignment of downloading a 3D model file and printing it out using a 3D printer, the staff confidence significantly improved.
  26. 26. • A high performance PC with a special video card highly recommended for a 3D scanner (3D Systems Sense Scanner) • Makerbot Replicator 2X is very picky. Only ABS is accepted. • Afinia H480 is very reliable. • Makerbot PLA is not compatible with Afinia H480. • Buy filament by your 3D printer vendor • Think about pricing way in advance. • No staff wants to measure the 3D printed object for cost. • Users want a simple pricing schema. • $3 for the 1st hour of 3D printing time and $1 per hr. after is reasonable to users. (No complaint received; No charge for a failed print.) • Determine and implement the payment process and the staff workflow early.
  27. 27. • Print out many example 3D models with printing time and cost. • Models with and without support/raft. • Finishing tools • LiveCam for 3D printers – Users love this.
  28. 28. • Reservation 24 hours in advance • A 30-min to 1-hour one-on-one orientation with one of the orienters. • Detailed LibGuide with How-To tutorials • 3D print job submission form + 3D print staff admin portal is in place. • Everyone loves the 3D scanner demo. • Workshops started in June. • For the last 2 months, we have done a dozen orientations, 2 workshops, and (on-demand) 3 classes and show-and-tell demos. • So far, one object has been 3D printed by a user. • It takes time for users to learn about the new technology and getting to do something with it on their own.
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  31. 31. • Orientations • Workshops • On-demand classes • More incorporation into the curriculum in the future • Motivation of attendees • A custom part design for a lab equipment • 3D model for teaching & hands-on learning • Personal/Professional purpose – a social worker, an architect, an IT trainer, a nurse, etc. • Questions by Users • Biosafety of the material? • How to 3D model an object? • How small an object can one scan? • How to transform a photo to a 3D model?
  32. 32. • More workshops • More outreach and introduction to different schools • Talks and events • Building a community • Expanding space as the Reference Desk moves to the Circ Desk. • Visualization wall & other offerings beyond 3D printing/scanning • More targeted promotion • Sustainable funding model and source
  33. 33. • Bagley, Caitlin. 2014. “What Is a Makerspace? Creativity in the Library.” ALA TechSource. Accessed May 30. creativity-in-the-library.html. • Colegrove, Tod. 2013. “Editorial Board Thoughts: Libraries as Makerspace?” Information Technology & Libraries 32 (1): 2–5. • Doorley, Scott, and Scott Witthoft. 2012. Make Space: How to Set the Stage for Creative Collaboration. 1 edition. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley. quoted in Kurt, Lisa, and Tod Colegrove. 2012. “3D Printers in the Library: Toward a Fablab in the Academic Library.” ACRL TechConnect Blog. • Groenendyk, Michael, and Riel Gallant. 2013. “3D Printing and Scanning at the Dalhousie University Libraries: A Pilot Project.” Library Hi Tech 31 (1): 34–41. doi:10.1108/07378831311303912. • Henry, Alan. 2012. “How To Find And Get Involved With A Hackerspace.” Lifehacker. with-a-hackerspace-in-your-community/.
  34. 34. • Hlavin, Matt. 2014. “3-D Printing: The Next Industrial Revolution.” Design Appliance, March 21. industrial-revolution. • Prince, J. Dale. 2014. “3D Printing: An Industrial Revolution.” Journal of Electronic Resources in Medical Libraries 11 (1): 39–45. doi:10.1080/15424065.2014.877247. • Pryor, Steven. 2014. “Implementing a 3D Printing Service in an Academic Library.” Journal of Library Administration 54 (1): 1–10. doi:10.1080/01930826.2014.893110. • SciBytes. 2014. “3-D Printing Reshapes Medicine.” SciBytes. icine. • Vincent F. Scalfani, and Josh Sahib. 2013. “A Model for Managing 3D Printing Services in Academic Libraries.” Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship. doi:10.5062/F4XS5SB9. • Wolterbeek, Mike. 2012. “DeLaMare Science and Engineering Library First in Nation to Offer 3D Printing Campuswide.” Nevada Today, July 9.