June 18, 2018

Marian Fragola | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Innovators

Marian Fragola


Director, Program Planning & Outreach, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh


MSLS, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 2008


North Carolina Humanities Council


@ncsulibraries on Twitter; NCSU Libraries

Photo by Chuck Samuels, NCSU Libraries


STEAM Powered

A photo spurred Marian Fragola to create the Making Space series at North Carolina State University (NCSU). As part of a study on the library’s gaming spaces, a student snapped a picture of herself looking into one of the rooms, her body reflected in the glass. “[It] captured her feelings of not being welcomed,” says Fragola, director of program planning and outreach. The photo brought home to Fragola and her colleagues the issue of women’s underrepresentation in the Maker movement and tech.

“Making Space has both practical and aspirational outcomes,” says Fragola. Students from traditionally underrepresented groups have attended 11 workshops, in which they’ve learned to code, create podcasts, and design. Fragola also brings in women speakers who tell the stories of their sometimes circuitous paths to success, such as the creators of the podcast Criminal, who began recording their series in a closet, or February Keeney of GitHub, who shared her experience of being a trans woman in tech. As of January 2018, 900 people have attended these talks and workshops.

Fragola also has a knack for creating programs that span disciplines and are open to the public, such as State of the Sciences Live! “What really stole the show was a performance [throughout the library] by [NCSU’s] dance program, which interpreted a chemical reaction through modern dance,” says nominator Christopher Tonelli, director of external relations.

“My goal is to have [our] programs be informative, inspirational, fun, and, when they are at their best, transformational,” says Fragola.

This article was published in Library Journal. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

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