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What's a makerspace and why should libraries care?

Panel presentation, part of "3D Technologies: New Tools for Information Scientists to Engage, Educate and Empower Communities"

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What's a makerspace and why should libraries care?

  1. 1. What’s a makerspace and why should libraries care? Tod Colegrove, Ph.D., MSLIS Head of DeLaMare Science & Engineering Library University of Nevada, Reno Slides at:
  2. 2. currently provide makerspace or maker activities through their libraries 40% planning to start makerspaces in the near future 36% neither currently providing makerspace nor planning to do so 24% "Makerspaces in Libraries" Study, John Burke, Dec 2013 - of 143 librarians surveyed:
  3. 3. “A makerspace is a physical location where people gather to share resources and knowledge, work on projects, network, and build.”1 1EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative, ELI. 7 Things you should know about … Makerspaces. April 2013. Retrieved November 2014 from
  4. 4. “We see making as a gateway to deeper engagement in science and engineering but also art and design.” – makerspace playbook Makerspace playbook. Retrieved November 2014 from
  5. 5. Active rather than passive learning. Photo by Nick Crowl:
  6. 6. From molecules to dinosaurs in the desert…
  7. 7. “Our biggest challenge – and the biggest opportunity for the Maker Movement – is an ambitious one: to transform education.” – makerspace playbook
  8. 8. Let’s talk about 3D printers: hardware selection & maintenance. • What should I be looking at and thinking about when considering a 3D printer purchase? • Is ongoing maintenance a big deal?
  9. 9. Rule #1: Know where you’re at on the Hype Cycle. Gartner Hype Cycle by Jeremy Kemp. Retrieved November 2014 from
  10. 10. Gartner’s 2013 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies. Press release, August 19, 2013. Retrieved November 2014 from
  11. 11. Gartner’s 2013 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies. Press release, August 19, 2013. Retrieved November 2014 from
  12. 12. Talk to the communities supported by your library. What does the need look like?
  13. 13. Will you need to be able to print • “real” parts? That is, that can be dropped, drilled, machined? • interconnected moving assemblies? • metal parts? ABS plastic? • in multiple colors? Simultaneously? • big parts? How big?
  14. 14. Any special environmental health and safety concerns?
  15. 15. Fact: no 3D printer does it all.
  16. 16. Do your homework: • Explore vendor options/literature in depth – inform ongoing conversations. • Differentiate between open source, hobbyist, DIY systems and commercial/production equipment
  17. 17. Do your homework: • What’s the cost of print materials? • Go hands-on with the equipment at trade shows or other makerspaces. Would they make the same choices again? Why or why not? • How extensive is the ongoing day-to- day support of the equipment?
  18. 18. Anthropology 5% Art 11% Biochemistry 11% Biomedical Engineering 8% Ag, Biotech, Natural Resources 2% Chemistry 3% Business 3% Economics 3% Electrical Engineering 5% Mechanical Engineering 46% Natural Resources & Environmental Science 3% 3d printer usage: