Internet Librarian Rough Cut: Community Makerspaces: Idea Labs and FabLabs

Here are my raw notes from:

Community Makerspaces: Idea Labs and FabLabs

Three very different presentations but all interesting. I especially like the activity cards for Denver Public Library’s badge system. If you have tech programming, check them out!


Uyen Tran (San Diego)

Creating a Community Driven Makerspace

San Diego PL – Bought 3D Printers before knowing what to do with.

At start

Equipment – 2 3D printers, 1 3D scanner

Budget 0 for programming, $100/yr from Friends for filament

No programs initially

Staffing – one


Idea Lab – Media creation lab, more structured space at SD PL

In Makerlab, might do card making, but use 3d printer for custom designs. Also do rapid prototyping. Converted study room. Only people actively working on projects allowed in.

Lab open M-F when library is open. 800 visitors in 3d lab a month, 3d printers 100% free to use include filament. You give them file, then they print. Must be present at printing to understand how thing works.

Got a free 3D printer from Robo 3d and received 2 free silhouette cameo cutters

Reach out to community for staffing. Yuen reached out to local maker community. That also allowed the use of a mobile fab lab for a month.

Why do private Maker companies partner? Libraries are the gateway drug. Free basics at libraries, more advanced at FabLab, etc.

Local teachers come to library for Adruino club, draws other members and members present other classes.

You can do it!

  • Work with the community
  • Understand the Make Movement – In San Diego, this means drinking beer
  • Be a maker
  • Attend/host a Maker Faire – great place to recruit volunteers
  • Do not be afraid to try out new things or fail
  • Realize that you do not need to know everything
  • Ask for help – local clubs offered 40 people to fix printers

Zeth Lietzau

Denver Public Library Idea Lab –

Makers, Hackers and Badges at Denver Public Library

Hours are limited, but were seeing up 20 people a day. This got them a bigger space with configurable furniture, computers, couple of 3D printers and adruinos. Still mostly digital media.

Experimenting with Girls Only Idea Lab, once a month. Seems to be taking off. Also doing a monthly family lab.

Showed a cool PSA video done by kid.

Members of the Idea Lab fixed an LED sign.


In six areas. Each badge comes with a project cards see web site for details. Kids like the activities, don’t care about the badges. Only gave out 30 badges in past year.

Zeth is still excited about badges for lifelong learning. Points to Badge Alliance, a global group examining ideas for certifications.

Going forward

DPL – U(niv) – Activity/Experience, verification,

DPL – fUn – Activity/experience, attendance badge

Need help with evaluation step. Maybe community colleges.


Jenny Howland and Susan Faust

Katherine Burke School (SF) K-8 (Empower and educate girls)


This presentation had a back channel

Prezi –

  1. School had a specific mission

School looks sort of Montesorri to me.

  1. Looking for the right place for the right task

Library and Makerspace are separate. Developing Makery Up and Down required a lot of rearrangement.

Up – Making

Down – Media

Kids made Oregon Trail Movie – Library mission combination of researching, reading and competence in using tools.

  1. Play to strengths
  1. Be Purposeful – Research countries, gather images from Google Earth, Green Screen to put themselves into postcard, learn to give credit.

Presentation offered a number of student projects. They read a book and then a build an object that represents the book.

  1. At the Forefront of Paradigm Shifts

Challenge of assessments. Working on portfolio assessment for 3&4 graders, including rubrics. Idea is to nurture personal responsibility for learning.

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