Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Webinar: Makerspace @Carnegie Public Library, Pittsburgh

Carnegie Public Library in Pittsburgh received a Digital Learning Initiative grant which caused usage to soar, but when they learned about YouMedia in Chicago they were inspired to do more. They interviewed recent library school graduates and asked for proposals. The proposal they chose was digital storytelling. Teens used Tumblr, Youtube and photos to tell stories about their neighborhoods. They then received an IMLS grant and are currently entirely grant-fun
ded. The launch party was at local Google office, which generated publicity and got people excited.

Tips for creating a Makerspace:

  • Don't let the intimidation factor keep you from doing things -- Youmedia approach is scalable. Stealing ideas is OK, but adapt them to your community.
  • Justify work with research, especially when seeking funds. Studies show correlation with teens having an adult mentor who is not a parent and their success in adult life.  
  • Ask teens what they want.
  • Programs don’t have to be expensive -- get free ideas from the Instructables website
  • Staffing needs to be included in a proposal.
  • Need to consider location of lab--can residents get there without a car? Is there enough space?
  • Partnerships help sustainability, but there are good and bad partners. Discuss any payment issues early on. Mentors with digital media experience are needed.

Carnegie Public Library has four makerspaces in four branches. Each space has the same tech: two iMacs, two Macbook Airs, iPads, a drawing table, a controller, tripods, iPad cases that attach to tripods (for stop motion animation), Arduinos, and Adobe Creative Suite software. They searched digital learning blogs and asked their Teen Advisory Council to recommend equipment. Staff took classes in Arduinos and soldering at Hack Pittsburgh.

Tips for doing teen programs:

  • Having equipment out is good -- gets kids curious.
  • The more rules, the less accessible the space. (Here are their rules: http://www.clpgh.org/teens/events/programs/thelabs/#rules)
  • A different subject each month works well.
  • Use badges to make learning fun (http://www.ala.org/yalsa/badges-learnin).Teens get a badge if they attend all the programs in a month.
  • Going out to schools works for outreach as well as a chance to test programs.
  • Two people at every program is good to encourage shy teens and answer questions
  • Don’t forget related displays of library material!

Carnegie Public Library’s next goal is to create programming “starter kits” that can be ordered and sent to any branch. They consider the labs a way to teach teens about professional opportunities in addition to being a place of creation.

Recommended software and web sites:

Appitic --recommended  iOS apps for learning: http://www.appitic.com/

Comic Life-- an app for creating comics with photos: http://www.comiclife.com/

Smoovie -an app for stop motion animation: http://www.openplanetsoftware.com/smoovie/

Skokie Public Library’s list of digital lab equipment and software:: http://www.skokielibrary.info/s_about/how/Tech_Resources/DML.asp

The Library as Incubator project :http://www.libraryasincubatorproject.org/

Oswego State University’s list of free apps for media creation: http://libraryguides.oswego.edu/toolbox

Popbooth-- create a photo booth with an iPad: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/popbooth-photo-booth/id432092216?mt=8

A recording of the webinar is available here.

--Andrea @Central

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