Library Makerspaces

by Andrea McKennan | Apr 02, 2013
| 1 Comment

Summary:

With one million dollars, we would bring makerspaces to the people of Saint Paul through our public libraries. Makerspaces are collaborative community spaces where people can access tools and technology necessary to pursue their interests in computers, science, art, etc. They are spaces that encourage people to become makers and producers by providing an environment that fosters experimentation, creativity, and design. By enabling people to use new technologies to not only consume but also to create, we would facilitate the creation of knowledge – a fundamental part of the public library’s mission.

While there are a few makerspaces in the Twin Cities, they all charge fees for access. Bringing makerspaces into our libraries would give free access to new tools and technology to the people of Saint Paul. We propose including items like 3D printers, computers with design and coding capabilities, laser cutters, and photo and video technology in these spaces. The Saint Paul Public Library system includes 14 locations throughout the city that could help bring these technologies and tools to our citizens.

About You

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About You

First Name

Andrea

Last Name

McKennan

City

Saint Paul

County

Country

United States, MN

Website (if you have one)

Names of others who helped contribute to my idea

Leslie Spring, Sheree Savage

How did you hear about the Forever Saint Paul Challenge?

About Your Organization (if applicable)

Organization Name (if applicable)

Saint Paul Public Library

Organization Website

Organization Phone

Organization Address

City

Saint Paul

Organization Country

United States, MN

Your idea

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Title of your idea

Library Makerspaces

Give us the highlights of your idea for making Saint Paul great (2,000 characters maximum or approx. 250 words)

With one million dollars, we would bring makerspaces to the people of Saint Paul through our public libraries. Makerspaces are collaborative community spaces where people can access tools and technology necessary to pursue their interests in computers, science, art, etc. They are spaces that encourage people to become makers and producers by providing an environment that fosters experimentation, creativity, and design. By enabling people to use new technologies to not only consume but also to create, we would facilitate the creation of knowledge – a fundamental part of the public library’s mission.
While there are a few makerspaces in the Twin Cities, they all charge fees for access. Bringing makerspaces into our libraries would give free access to new tools and technology to the people of Saint Paul. We propose including items like 3D printers, computers with design and coding capabilities, laser cutters, and photo and video technology in these spaces. The Saint Paul Public Library system includes 14 locations throughout the city that could help bring these technologies and tools to our citizens.

Website address (if applicable)

Innovation

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What makes your idea different or unexpected? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

When people think of libraries, they think of books. Makerspaces in libraries are an exciting and unexpected proposition.

But libraries exist to connect their communities with learning resources, and, today, that includes much, much more than books. Most public libraries now provide public computers and computer classes. Library makerspaces are a logical extension of library services.

Impact

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This Entry is about (Issues)

How will your idea make a difference in Saint Paul? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

The “maker” movement is popular now; however, participation is limited to those with access to the requisite tools and technology. Bringing makerspaces into our libraries would provide access to the tools of the movement to everyone in Saint Paul.

Library makerspaces would help develop our workforce. New technologies demand new skills, and libraries are in a position to help develop those skills.

Library makerspaces would also help develop our educational system – connecting home, school, and community. We could connect academics to learners’ interests and introduce students to inspiring peers and mentors.

Sustainability

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Why do you think people will recognize or remember your idea after it comes to life? How might it inspire others to do something similar in their community? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

The role of the library remains the same as it always has – to connect people with information and resources – but the world of information is changing dramatically. The role of the library can and should be changing as well. Seeing a library system successfully expand its offerings and vision to include makerspaces would inspire innovation within other library systems and communities.

cvczv zv said: Being part of the business world you really need to understand the competition. - YOR Health about this Competition Entry. - 2567 days ago read more >

Andrea McKennan updated this Competition Entry. - 2847 days ago

Andrea McKennan submitted this idea. - 2847 days ago