Growing makerspace learning in Michigan libraries

The path from idea to production for amateurs, entrepreneurs or established professionals is shorter, cheaper and more collaborative than ever before. Makers – the umbrella term for those who snip, solder, sew, weld, hammer, design, code, invent, sculpt and more – enjoy learning collaboratively in a common space and gathering together for communal tinkering. Often these creations turn into successful businesses or new approaches to economic development, education and learning.

The project aims to grow professional development and support for makerspace learning and innovation programs in Michigan libraries. The researchers will partner with host libraries and communities in higher-poverty rural areas across Michigan and convene multi-day workshops for librarians, civic leaders, service organizations, scout and business leaders and educators. The goal is to develop a strong and sustainable network with libraries as a hub for entrepreneurial and innovative practices.

Start date: 4/1/2015
End date: 4/30/2018

 

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Clinical Assistant Professor of Information Kristin Fontichiaro received a $499,441 award to grow professional development and support for makerspace learning and innovation programs in Michigan libraries. Assistant Professor of Information Silvia Lindtner is serving as the co-principal investigator on this project. 

Fontichiaro and Lindtner will partner with host libraries and their communities in higher-poverty rural areas across Michigan and convene multi-day workshops for librarians, civic leaders, service organizations, scout and business leaders, educators and others. The workshops will develop familiarity with maker tools and processes and demonstrate how to build a sustainable structure around local needs and resources, create community partnerships, and acquire innovative and inspiring tools. 

Fontichiaro and Lindtner will also host campus and virtual workshops, with the overarching goal of the project to develop a strong and sustainable network with libraries as a hub for entrepreneurial and innovative practices that can encourage participants to strive for academic and career development and even an entrepreneurial future.

Grants

Laura Bush 21st Century Librarians Program, Institute of Museum and Library Sciences; $499,441

The mission of the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement.

The Institute’s Laura Bush 21st Century Librarians Program supports efforts to recruit and educate the next generation of librarians and the faculty who will prepare them for careers in library science. It supports grants for library education research and library staffing needs, curriculum development, and continuing education and training.

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