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Tools for Transformation: Key Elements for Building New Library Programs


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Panel presentation given at the Arizona Library Association 2017 conference. Makerspaces and other innovation incubators are trendy and cool, but the elements that make them successful are basic, not terribly sexy, and essential for building new library programs. Who do you work with? Where do you put it? Why and how will your constituents use it? And how will you make sure they know about it? In this presentation, we use the Cline Library MakerLab as a case study, but the concepts we discuss are relevant to other types of projects and libraries.

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Tools for Transformation: Key Elements for Building New Library Programs

  1. 1. Tools for transformation: key elements for building new library programs Janet Crum, Head, Library Technology Services Jill Friedmann, Assistant Dean Bryan Johnson, Support Systems Analyst, Sr. Kathleen Schmand, Director, Development and Communications
  2. 2. • Northern Arizona University • Public University • 30,000+ students • Large undergraduate student population • Located in Flagstaff • Cline Library • 554,000 visits (FY17) • Heavy use in person and online • Since 2011— repurposing space, integrating technology CLINE LIBRARY AND NORTHERN ARIZONA UNIVERSITY
  3. 3. 4 September 2015—Brainstorming session with library staff about fundraising priorities October 2015—Draft of a funding proposal for the MakerLab January 2016—Proposal revision and decision to pursue LSTA funding March 2016—LSTA grant submitted to Arizona State Library April 2016—Continued development of program plan and establishing partnerships with faculty and others in the community May 2016—Notice of Award and decision to become a MakerBot Innovation Center August 2016—Open MakerLab to NAU community and public THE PROJECT TIMELINE—THE CLINE LIBRARY MAKERLAB • No money to renovate library spaces initially • LSTA grant partially funded equipment
  4. 4. THE MAKERLAB 5 WHAT’S IN THE MAKERLAB? • 20- 3D printers (18 standard & 2 large format) • 3D design software • 3D scanners (tabletop and handheld) • Electronic prototyping kits • Technical assistance • Workshop/Training space • Open to the public (Really true…) • First MakerBot Innovation Center in the West
  5. 5. 6 • 3D print jobs processed: 3,549 – 61% original designs – 26% for coursework in 12 disciplines and > 50 courses (biggest users engineering and art) – 7% from users not affiliated with NAU • Training and Outreach – 22 workshops and events (total attendance: 237) – 11 presentations (total attendance: 354) – Participated in several maker fairs and similar outreach events BY THE NUMBERS 2016-2017
  6. 6. 7 PART 1: COLLABORATION AND PARTNERSHIPS Better together! Finding collaborators to help with your project
  7. 7. ON-CAMPUS COLLABORATORS & INTERNAL PARTNERS • Leverage existing partnerships • Faculty we had worked with on other projects • Interdisciplinary/diverse – from the beginning • Faculty from mechanical engineering and sculpture • Helped us plan for different types of uses from the start • Who else might be interested? • More engineers • Visual communication • Design thinking and innovation • Admissions – an outreach partner
  8. 8. 9 COLLABORATORS IN THE COMMUNITY Who might use your services? Who isn’t currently being served/served well? • Coconino Community College • We are their library • Spoke to classes and participated in fall kickoff events • Flagstaff Unified School District • Connected by exhibiting at local science festival • High school robotics team • Other classes and groups – hosting field trips, giving presentations • Flagstaff Public Library • We contacted them to explore potential collaborations • Taught workshops in their space—for staff and users
  9. 9. MORE COMMUNITY COLLABORATIONS • Small businesses and startups • NACET = Northern Arizona Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, a startup incubator • Coconino County SBDC = Small Business Development Center, part of federal Small Business Administration • SBDC contacted us before project started. Connected us to NACET. • Flagstaff Festival of Science • Held 2 highly-attended events this fall— and got coverage in the local paper • Local commercial makerspace/tech shop • Opportunity to refer users back and forth 10
  10. 10. COLLABORATION—LESSONS LEARNED 11 • New services lead to new relationships—and new relationships enhance new services • Who might be interested/able to help? Contact them! • Casual conversations – chat, explore possibilities. Meet in person if possible. • Always ask: Who else should I talk to? • Maintain the relationship • Ask for advice • Share info on new developments • Announce/invite to events
  11. 11. 12 PART 2: FINDING THE RIGHT SPACE • Making – 3D modeling/print – Electronic prototyping – Zine making • Collaborative learning • Group activities • Workshop space • Room for breakouts
  12. 12. 31 PART 3: LEARNING AND INTEGRATION INTO THE CURRICULUM PRIMARY GOALS FOR THE MAKERLAB: • Partner with faculty to integrate a new technology into existing curricula and engage students through new assignments and projects. • Learn how to provide faculty with the training and information they need. • Develop close relationships to encourage them to integrate new and emerging technologies into their pedagogy and course design. • Develop and deliver workshops and training that anyone could attend and begin using the MakerLab’s services and resources.
  13. 13. 32 FACULTY PARTNERSHIPS  Identified and collaborated with distinguished faculty on campus already working with 3D technologies in engineering and art.  Arranged a program in coordination with the Faculty Professional Development Program, splitting expenses to bring in a noted guest speaker, Maggie Melo from the University of Arizona’s Makerspace.  Establish clear contact channels for faculty to connect with the right MakerLab staff.  Integrate the collection of information into the initial request form about course-related requests.
  14. 14. 33 TRAINING DESIGN  Become an evangelist for your program  Anticipate and address concerns from stakeholders before they arise by articulating the purpose of the project and how it fits into the mission of your organization  Prepare to answer the question, “Why the library?” early and often  Deliver training and information both in a scheduled fashion and at the request of departments/programs/etc.—customize it as appropriate.  Leverage organizational expertise to help deliver the training
  15. 15. 34 TRAINING CONTENT • Developed focused content that communicates basics of using service and resources that anyone can present (with coaching) • Build upon those basics with more specialized training, both in person through consultations and with focused workshops at an intermediate and advanced level • Refer to university resources ( to fill gaps
  16. 16. FOSTER FACULTY AND PROGRAMMATIC RELATIONSHIPS 35 • Frequent communication and close relationships allow us to be aware of and prepare for a large number of submissions related to coursework • Continue to collaborate with early adopters on growing and expanding program support and feedback • Find creative ways to partner with programs to cover printing expenses
  17. 17. ENGAGE STUDENTS THROUGH NEW ASSIGNMENTS AND PROJECTS • Worked with faculty from a diverse set of majors and colleges (Fine Arts, Mechanical Engineering, Anthropology, English), including the First Year Seminar Program to assist in the development of coursework and assignment creation • Provided access to software that has a high cost barrier to empower students as well as introduce them to low-cost free software they can use at home
  19. 19. COMMUNICATION PLAN BASICS 38 Communicating about the new program was crucial for its success. What are some key elements to include in any communication strategy? 1. Communication Goals 2. Identifying the Audiences 3. SMART Objectives 4. Key Messages 5. Tactics
  20. 20. KEY ELEMENTS OF THE MAKERLAB COMMUNICATION PLAN Communication Goals: The MakerLab supports university priorities because it: • Improves student learning and achievement through a large scale 3D printing and scanning program. • Fosters STEAM learning in a highly accessible location at NAU. • Encourages collaboration between NAU and the community through access to 3D printing and maker technologies. Audiences: Primary Audiences: Students and Faculty (NAU and Coconino Community College), Administration, Staff/ Library Staff, Flagstaff Community Secondary Audiences: Alumni, Prospective Students, Parents
  21. 21. SMART Objectives: 1. Inform the NAU and local community about access to the MakerLab. 2. Educate the NAU community on what is possible to achieve with 3D printing by providing student stories and showing examples of what has been printed. 3. Teach individuals and groups how to integrate the technologies and tools in the MakerLab into their personal learning. Key Messages: 1. Experience the Cline Library MakerLab and discover your creative/Innovative side. 2. Integrate the MakerLab into your learning experience at NAU and beyond. 3. Collaborate across disciplines to create and innovate.
  22. 22. Thinking about a program you want to talk about and elevate, what decisive phrases or words help you describe it? What are some phrases you have used? For a lending equipment program: Let your creativity shine and wow your faculty. Borrow multimedia equipment from the library. For a new learning space that offers advanced technology: Teach, collaborate, and learn in the Learning Studio • Keep to 1-2 key messages. • Keep them brief, almost a tagline anyone in your organization could use to describe the program. • Always use active language. CRAFTING A KEY MESSAGE
  23. 23. Possible tactics/communication channels 42
  24. 24. TACTICS USED TO COMMUNICATE ABOUT THE MAKERLAB • Collaborated with MakerBot on an official press release • Wrote an article with colleagues on establishing the MakerLab for Computers in Libraries • Developed a rack card for the MakerLab • Held a Grand Opening event within the first month • Had a table with 3D printer and technology staff at the University’s Campaign closing Gala • Created buttons and 3D printed bookmarks • Used social media channels to create awareness • Participated in the NAU Science and Engineering Day and Flagstaf Festival of Science • Attended the Arizona SciTech Conference, Southwest MakerFest, and Maricopa Science City—Partnered with Admissions • Created programs for the Flagstaff Public Library and Mesa Public Library that included an interactive display area with 3D printed objects, a rolling slide show, and a 3D printer • Held numerous workshops and maker nights—continuing to grow in this area
  25. 25. 45