Saturday, March 9, 2013

Getting started at Artisan's Asylum in Somerville

In February, 2013, a number of librarians met with engineers, dreamers, tinkerers, gadget-makers at a Makerspace called Artisan's Asylum in Somerville, MA to explore what the possibilites are of bringing hands-on learning and tinkering into the context of schools and libraries.

Dale Dougherty, the founder of the Makerspace movement, sat with us in a small group, brainstorming ways in which libraries can be a catalyst for turning Americans back from being simply consumers into makers.

Space is always a big issue. Re-configuring space and re-imagining what we do in libraries will be an on-going challenge. Most libraries do value programming as an essential part of their mission, but much programming is lecture format, book signings, sharing of information as patron sit passively and absorb ideas, thoughts, information. The shift in programming will have to include seeing the patron as an active participant in a program and also, ideally, giving people an opportunity to explore, in a hands-on way, tools and media that allow them to become makers. Short programs can be a starting point, but places where people can return to continue their work would be great.

HERE IS A SHORT VIDEO OF AN ARDUINO PROJECT presented by Kevin Osborn:


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