Mary C. Derr

Share your takeaways from a keynote session.

Making Makerspaces accessible to all, including bringing the space to the patrons.

  • October 11, 2017 at 3:20 PM
  • Visible to public
Heather Moorefield-Lang has such great enthusiasm for Making and shared lots of terrific, specific ideas. The Maker buses are great for big libraries that can afford them, but even smaller libraries can make a Maker Fleet of carts with activities on them. The speaker's example was for a school, but I can see my public library sending carts around, via the library van, to our different branches, so that our more rural patrons can have access to some of our activities. I also liked the "Maker Party in the Box" and "Tinker Totes" concept, for smaller, 1 to 2 person activities. A lot of libraries are developing programs to circulate physical objects (e.g., a necktie library) and activity kits, and these Maker kits feed into that concept. I think this is a great way to draw in reluctant library users or non-users. Just because they don't read books doesn't mean we can't serve them.

Often accessibility for differently-abled patrons is an afterthought, so I'm glad the speaker talked about putting a focus on this in planning Maker equipment and activities. For example, how about involving sighted teens in designing and 3D-printing tactile picture books for children with visual impairments or sensory processing issues, for use in storytimes or to check out? The teens get a cool project and a sense of accomplishment, of making a real contribution. The kids get to be included in storytime. Everyone wins.