I have long been enamored of the idea of maker spaces in libraries. While I am hesitant to make any statements that would come across as endorsing a particular type or focus of “making,” I have to say that I love the idea of making the library a center for active, hands-on learning and engagement. Traditional services can feel very passive–reading, listening, watching media, etc. But making? That’s a horse of a different color.
I’m in a session talking about making in the context of 3D printers, robotics, tools, and other larger-scale maker initiatives. My question, though, looks to the less expensive, the less formal. Namely: what does the maker movement mean for youth services? Arguably, we’ve been engaged (and engaging kids) in making from the very beginning: crafts at story time, LEGO club, STEM programs with building/engineering components… Michelle Kilty, a children’s librarian in Illinois, got me thinking about this topic on Twitter before Midwinter, and today’s presentation brought it to mind again. It’s a topic I look forward to exploring further.
What do you think about the maker movement, especially as it relates to youth services? What sorts of activities and programs have you offered that would fall under the “maker” umbrella? What can youth librarians bring to the table for this maker conversation?