Maker Culture & Academic Libraries


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  • For those of you who don’t know me, my name is FrankLiaison librarian at Woodward LibraryToday I’m going to talk about something which isn’t actuallypart of my jobbut which I’ve been thinking about a lot recently and have been a little involved in on the public library side of thingsMaker Culture, what it is, and why and how academic libraries might want to get involved
  • What is Maker Culture?CLICKI think the easiest way to describe Maker Culture is acombination of the DIY ethic:a very old tradition goes back before the industrial revolution when everyone was DIY peopleSo:Knittersand sewersMechanics and woodworkersElectronics and computer geekspeople with shops in their garages and studios in spare roomsBig tent movement, not just about electronics and computers, embraces all forms of small scale innovation and production
  • combined with the culture of sharing that has been enabled by the internet I think there is a cultural zeitgeist right now around openness, especially in terms of educationWe see this with Open access & Open source, open data and government and scienceMOOCsA general movement towards the default being sharing Which isn’t to say the Maker movement isn’t entrepreneurial, it is, Many small business exist within these spaces and come out of themBut the focus is on:Sharing what you’re doingSharing what you’re passionate about
  • This combination has created what I think of as these new spaces for innovation, teaching, and learning, Specifically spaces that areGrass roots and Community drivenSmall and sustainablePassion and project drivenThese pictures have all been from the 2012 Vancouver Mini Maker Fairereally an umbrella event that brings together this larger Maker communityCame out of the huge Maker Faire that runs in San Francisco every yearThis year will be it’s 3rd yearA great event, happening June 1-2 this year at the PNE
  • Which brings me to the final theme which I think is important:community. This is Vancouver HackspaceMember run collective offering co-working space and equipmentlaser cutter, CNC machine, and a couple of 3d printersLots of smaller tools and donated supplies and kitsMembership is $40 a month, and for that you get a key and 24 hour accessRun open nights every week, very strong community, strong focus on educationJust moved to a new warehouse location that is much largerOther examples: Vancouver Community LabsHackeryFreeGeekSo with that context, I would like to introduce a few tools that I think academic libraries could adopt at very little risk: Raspberry Pis and 3D PrintersCLICK
  • This is the Raspberry PiA complete computerOk CPU and very good GPUWired internet, audio, RCA video + HDMIGPIO for connecting with basically any other deviceGood enough to stream high definition video, low power enough to run for a year on ~$1 powerTotal cost: $35This quote is from Pete Lomas, the man who started Raspberry Pi off the side of his desk in the small engineering company he owns in England
  • This is petelomasMostly I just really like his presentation style of using a step lader to give a 2 hour Q& AOne of the most inspiring talks I’ve ever seenSmall team went in 15 months from a single prototype to over a million units shippedGreat example of non-profit working with for-profit companies to produce something that can be used for design, education, prototyping, and development in a sustainable waySort of a “seed” of many great things can be built
  • So what are people doing with raspberry pis?CLICKSome things that I’ve been impressed by:Anything you could imagine doing with a open, programmable, $35, low-power computerKey is: we don’t know what students would want to do with these things until we give them access
  • I know 3d Printers are at the top of the “hype curve” right nowI’m going to try not to say things like “the democratization of production” or “the second industrial revolution”3d printers are really used for turning ideas into physical realityFor design and prototyping, Cost between 1-5,000 depending on the modelso just a few examples of how they are being used:CLICK…?. Again, I don’t think we really know what people are going to do with these machines until we give them access, but
  • From this morning’s news we have this really great example 20 month old Patient with collapsedtracea which needed a scaffhold to healThey 3d printed a “re-absorable” trachea based on a CT scan of the infants own tracheaJust to reiterate, we can’t predict what kinds of things people will use this technology for until we make it available
  • So, I know I am not being particularly new when I talk about thisProbably there is someone in this room working on similar thingsLibrary journal had this really excellent piece on Maker spaces within academic libraries a few days agoDalhousie has a 3D printerOswego College in NY has one tooTalked to Emily ThompsonSome interesting projectsSome problems and hickups
  • To wrap up: why am I telling you about these spaces and tools?Well, I wanted to come back to this image because hopefully, in 15 years or so, this girl is getting ready to attend UBCCLICKI think it’s important to ask: What will innovation, teaching and learning spaces look like when she arrives?Universities have been one of the greatest engines of innovation the world has ever knownand if you look at the themes of Maker culture, you’ll notice that these are also OUR themesOpen: very few institutions embrace the idea of sharing knowledge like usTeaching & learning are core activitiesAs is innovationWe are increasingly entrepreneurialWe are also about communityBut as we think about what we will look like in the futureI think we can learn a lot by looking at and engaging with the existing Maker community in VancouverAnd I think we should be thinking aboutShould we be building maker spaces within our librariesWhat can we adopt from existing Maker spaces and movements as we think about our own spaces and programming.
  • Some small pragmatic ways forward:go to maker faireSend some students or staffHere is a 20% discount codeSend students to these groups if they seem interested, we can’t do everythingVisit these spaces yourself and think about how we might adopt some of their practicesThank you
  • Maker Culture & Academic Libraries

    1. 1. Maker Culture andAcademic Libraries
    2. 2. What is Maker Culture?DIY
    3. 3. DIY + Open
    4. 4. Innovation, Teaching& Learning Spaces
    5. 5. Community
    6. 6. "Our wildest dream was to empowerthe next generation of Makers“ - PeteLomas
    7. 7. How to give a presentation:
    8. 8. • Embedded systems• Sensors and home automation systems• Robots and near-space balloons• ?
    9. 9. 3D Printers• Universal connectors for LEGO, Erector Sets,etc.• Surgical prep based on CT scans of patients• Prototyping designs, visualizations, etc.• ?
    10. 10. Why should universities be involved?In 15 years, what will education &innovation look like?
    11. 11. • Go to Maker Faire Vancouver June 1-2– 20% code: MEM20• Send students to Maker Faire, VancouverHack Space, Vancouver Community Labs, etc.• Visit these spaces yourself and think abouthow we might adopt some of their practicesSmall, pragmatic steps forward:All images ©Emily Smith (Flikr: blue mollusc