November 16, 2017

Making It Happen | Programming

As Maker spaces in libraries become increasingly common, often backed by grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)—and Maker activities without a dedicated space even more so—anyone who follows the professional literature and conference presentations is surely aware of the buzz around Making. But just how much does that buzz represent widespread practice, and of what precisely do these offerings consist?

Beyond the Maker Space | Backtalk

How often do librarians find themselves trying to explain that the library’s mission is not about books but about information? This public mis­understanding about what we are doing and why leads to a community misconception of what we should be doing in the future. The reality is that we as librarians make the same mistake all the time. We know intellectually that informational flow and access are our main missions, but our decisions and our hearts often put the focus on books. Books, in many cases, remain by far the best delivery vehicle for information, but there are many subject areas where other informational vehicles would be more effective, even if implementing those vehicles might mean less money spent on books.

Under Construction: Computers in Libraries 2014

Makerspaces, open source platforms, and other library rebuilds were the touchstones of this year’s Computers in Libraries Conference. The attendee statistics for the 2014 Computers in Libraries Conference, held April 7- 9, are identical to those of a decade ago: 2000 attendees from 46 states and 13 countries. However, the number of speakers had doubled, to two hundred. And, with approximately a third of the presenters making their CIL debut, there was a palpable sense of excitement vibrating through the halls and conference rooms of the Washington Hilton.

Madison Central Library To Host Local Public Access Channel

Madison, Wisconsin’s struggling public access TV station, WYOU, has a new lease on life, courtesy Madison Public Library. The station, which has been limping along since a 2010 state law cut its funding, has been welcomed into the new Madison Central Library branch. Library staff and station volunteers described the new partnership as a win-win situation that lets the station eliminate its rent costs and take advantage of the library’s media lab and equipment, while the library gets a batch of potential new volunteers and media teachers with years of experience, and the chance to experiment with serving as an incubator for community-produced media.

Make It @ Your Library Launches Maker Space Project Website

Make It @ Your Library, in collaboration with Instructables.com and the American Library Association, has finally launched its searchable website, makeitatyourlibrary.org, for librarians seeking maker space ideas and projects. Make It @ Your Library—an initiative developed through the ILEAD USA program over the past year—aims to help librarians realize maker projects in their own communities at low cost.

Round Rock Library (TX) Gets $49.5K Grant to Create After-School Maker Program

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) has awarded the Round Rock Public Library System a grant of $49,500 to build Innovation Station, an after-school maker space and program that aims to engage middle schoolers in project-based science, technology, engineering, mathematics, art and design activities. The grant is part of a total $1.6 million in awards that TSLAC is distributing in fiscal 2014 to Texas library programs.

The Mission Creeps Onward | Blatant Berry

Ongoing efforts by trade and scholarly publishers to demand higher prices for their digitized content and the growing, if flawed, perception that new technologies have made the information function of libraries obsolete have put librarians on the defensive. New devices and methods to deliver the entertainment and information people want have rekindled ancient debates about the mission of the library.