Week 9: Making and makerspaces

Twitter chat

When Monday 19 September, 6pm – 7pm
Topic Making and makerspaces
Twitter Chat Champions This week’s Twitter Chat Champions are:

  • Meghann Laverick

  • Laura O’Grady

  • Heidi Stevens

  • Helen Treherne

  • Nura Firdawsi

Hashtag #ifn614makechat
Questions Q1 Makerspaces: what’s the point? Should makerspaces really be a priority for libraries? Why or why not?

Q2 Why is creativity important? And what role do GLAMs of different types have in supporting creativity?

Q3 Hugh Rundle suggests buying a 3D printer is not aligned with the library’s mission. Do you think libraries have a mandate to support tech-centred production?

Q4 A little left of centre… Is creativity important to you, personally or professionally? Why or why not? How do you express your creativity?

Can’t participate in the Twitter chat? Check out the Storify archive

New to Twitter chats? Check out our Twitter chat tips.


When Monday 19 September, 7.15pm – 8pm
Where Online only: Blackboard Collaborate Ultra
What  Assignment clinic to discuss A2
Can’t make it to class? To access the recording of this week’s class:

  • Go to Blackboard
  • Click on Tools
  • Click on Blackboard Collaborate
  • Click on the recording title Information Programs Room to play the recording

Upcoming due dates

This week

Type What When Where
Assessment Week 9 Reflection Sunday 25 September, 11.59pm Check the Week 9 page

Next week

Assessment A2 Expression of interest Sunday 2 October, 11.59pm Check the Assignment 2 & 3 page


Have you heard of the maker movement?

The maker culture is a contemporary culture or subculture representing a technology-based extension of DIY culture. Typical interests enjoyed by the maker culture include engineering-oriented pursuits such as electronics,robotics, 3-D printing, and the use of CNC tools, as well as more traditional activities such as metalworking, woodworking, and traditional arts and crafts. The subculture stresses a cut-and-paste approach to standardized hobbyist technologies, and encourages cookbook re-use of designs published on websites and maker-oriented publications. There is a strong focus on using and learning practical skills and applying them to reference designs. (Wikipedia)

Making and makerspaces. Creating and creativity. Tinkering with technology. This week’s topic encompasses art, design, photography or craft – traditional creative pursuits. It also encompasses the drive to be creative and to make things, regardless of what those things are. The maker movement is about playing, tinkering, making and building, and it has a strong technology flavour. Think Arduino and Raspberry Pi. Think Kickstarter and crowdfunding technology projects. Think DIY drones and robots.

In an article on The Huffington Post blog, Brit Morin from Brit & Co. (one of my favourite creative spaces on the web) answers the question What is the maker movement and why should you care? This article provides an interesting, accessible primer on the maker movement. I highly recommend you read it.

Social technologies have enabled the maker movement by allowing people to connect across geographic distance, supporting development of communities and skills sharing. They have also made publishing to the web accessible to people who don’t have any technical web skills. Blogging allows makers to share their work and others to replicate that work.

The maker movement is changing attitudes about manufacturing and production and impacting on economies.

Maker Movement Infographic

Time Magazine published an article on Why the maker movement is important to America’s future, reflecting on the benefits of making and maker culture:

The Maker Movement has the potential to bring techies and non-techies alike into the world of being creators — some hobby-related, but for many, they could end up making great products and selling them online…

As someone who has seen firsthand what can happen if the right tools, inspiration and opportunity are available to people, I see the Maker Movement and these types of Maker Faires as being important for fostering innovation. The result is that more and more people create products instead of only consuming them, and it’s my view that moving people from being only consumers to creators is critical to America’s future. At the very least, some of these folks will discover life long hobbies, but many of them could eventually use their tools and creativity to start businesses. And it would not surprise me if the next major inventor or tech leader was a product of the Maker Movement.

This week, we’re going to explore how libraries (and other GLAMs) support and nurture creativity and making.

Things to read and watch



About makerspaces: Concerns and consideration in Bagley, Caitlin A. (2014). Makerspaces: Top Trailblazing Projects. Chicago, IL, USA: American Library Association.

Brooklyn Public Library profile in Bagley, Caitlin A. (2014). Makerspaces: Top Trailblazing Projects. Chicago, IL, USA: American Library Association.

Explore the blog The library as incubator project. Read a couple of essays or a couple of blog posts and share interesting ones with your peers on Twitter.

Personal creative and making practice

I also want to touch on individuals, making and creativity, both in our everyday lives and in our professional lives.

Everyone has a creative bone

You’ve all heard me say that creativity isn’t a characteristic; it’s a skill that we need to nurture. We’re not all artists, but everyone has the capacity to be creative. All it takes is a bit of nurturing and creative confidence.

But is everyone a maker?

Case study: Kim Tairi

For some people, being creative is a way of life. Let me introduce you to Kim Tairi. Kim is the boss at a university library New Zealand, a senior member of the library and information professions, a maker, creativity advocate, and *huge* social media user. Earlier this year, I asked Kim if she would share about her creative practice and her use of social media, and how these two things fit together. She’s created a story for my undergraduate Social Technologies unit with the Storehouse storytelling app for iPad, and here it is.

What I love about Kim’s story is that it provides a glimpse of how one individual uses social technologies as part of her every day creative practice.

Blog post: Critical reflection activity

assessment-iconWeekly learning activity

It’s time for another critical reflection blog post, this time on the topic of making and makerspaces.

Types of posts

You can write about whatever you want related to the topic of the week.


  • One of your activities must be a program review.
  • One of your activities must be a service review.

For your other posts, you can choose a type of activity from the list below, or you can write a critical reflection on a topic off your choosing:

  • argue a point
  • program review
  • service review
  • issues-based reflection
  • trends reflection.

For a description of the different types of posts you could write, check out the Assignment 1 page.

Argue a point of view

If you’re doing the ‘argue a point of view’ topic this week, here are some topics you might like to tackle (argue for or against the statement). It’s not a definitive list – you can choose your own topic. Please note I may not agree with all of these!

  • Buying a 3D printer is not aligned with the library’s mission and makerspaces are gimmicks.
  • Libraries should be about production, not just managing information and knowledge.
  • Libraries have a responsibility to support creativity.
  • Supporting the development of technology skills is not the role of the library.
  • Libraries are a leveler and makerspaces are one way libraries can bridge the digital divide.


  • Chloe Delaney

    @admin this could be a stupid question, but are we supposed to need an ipad for Kim’s story? The link doesn’t open for me in any browser. Is anyone else having this issue?

    • Kate

      Hmm… No it should just work, but I can’t get it to load either. It was working a couple of weeks ago! I’m checking with Kim and I’ll get back to you!

    • Kate

      Hey Karen, sorry, I completely forgot to put the instructions on accessing the recording up! It’s a bit different this week because it was an online-only class, which means we had to record using Collaborate Ultra and we can’t export the recordings from there 🙁

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