On November 28th, DHF went to the first ever Maryland Libraries MakerMeetup. The event brought together Librarians and Makers, and the conversation was about bringing Makers, Making, and Makerspaces into the Maryland Library system.
We presented a little bit about our Tech Center, and helped facilitate a working session with Matt Barinholtz of FutureMakers, talking with librarians about the ‘dating’ process of getting to know Makers, and establishing a relationship with them.
A number of other great Maker advocates and educators were there, and provided a number of excellent Making opportunities to help the librarians understand what Making is all about. The activities ran the gamut, making yarn from recycled platic bags, designing a flying object for a wind tube, learning to solder a blinky button, programming a drawing robot, cutting vinyl stickers, and so on.
One of the loveliest parts of the conversation was the idea that libraries are places for learning, and the idea that focusing on Making in Libraries is about pivoting to focus on active learning in libraries. Books are important because of the information they contain, and libraries are important spaces that facilitate learning and help people find, process, and use information.
We see this same idea reflected in the ideology of our Tech Center, this shift toward active, project-based learning opportunities. It is encouraging to see these ideas gaining traction in more of our informational institutions like libraries and schools. We can’t wait till we have our space up and running, and have kids making things every day.