Makerspace – PART 1

Facilitator and Note-taker: Sara Tompson

Participants: Valeria Moleni and Linda Crotty from SJSU, Laritta Ford from San Mateo Community College, Sarah Oelker from Mt Holyoke College. We are all new to the Unconference format and really enjoying it.

Overall points reported at summary:

* We/our institutions are at different places on the DIY/Makerspace continuum (details below)
* Broader DIY culture was discussed extensively, and how libraries can and are doing things besides 3D printers (main makerspace tool), such as button makers, tool lending libraries
* Different funding models discussed including: grant, partnerships, user fees (none doing yet nor contemplating but interested that vendor Stratasys here at Stella can share some chargeback models)

Links we shared with each other:

See websites above for some more details.  Here is a summary of status of participants’ institutions.

JPL has a Makerbot Replicator2 that IT owns and pushed the Library to display in InfoCommons. Have had for 5 months or so.  In open commons. Mostly fun.  Challenges on learning, getting tech support (first IT liaison left the lab), determining who to buy materials.  Great attractor in library, especially to younger engineers and grad students. Was a great success as a continuous demo at Take Our Children To Work Day. Need to nail down more details of the collaboration with IT.

San Mateo Community College got a President’s Innovation Grant to inculcate a makerspace culture throughout campus. Philosophical link with the tool lending library that actually lends screwdrivers and such and does quick training a for students who did not grow up knowing how to use tools.  Do many workshops especially with student organizations. Both pop up workshops and more formal. Have not purchased a 3D printer or other machine yet, but looking at options.

San Jose State University‘s large library is famously co-housed with the downtown branch of the public library. The city of San Jose has had a number of budget cuts, so they are not doing Makerspaces themselves yet. However librarians from both libraries, state university and public branch, have participated in San Jose’s maker faire which was the first maker faire ever held.

Mt Holyoke is considering a 3D printer, based in part on the super success of their button maker, marketing in the library and at campus events as a fun hands on DIY tool. All participants got excited about button makers, and looked at some of Mt Holyoke’s resources, including writings by Char Booth on button making, and American Button Maker’s products. They have considered partnering with art department, but that department/school recently was disallowed from charging back for their large printing machine, so not sure if a chargeback model could be implemented on that campus.