September 26, 2017

A Profile of Librarian Megan Lotts and the Legos Playing Station in the Rutgers University Art Library

From Rutgers University:

Megan Lotts is not a “shushing” librarian.

In fact, the Rutgers University librarian rather delights in the noise, conversation and mess at the Lego playing station she installed in the center of the university’s Art Library: It means that people are solving problems and learning to work as a team.

Accompanied by nearly 300 pounds of the popular colorful bricks, Lotts is on the forefront of redefining the educational role that libraries can play in their communities and aggressively spreading the message. She wants people to think of libraries as places where they can connect with others and pursue nontraditional methods of learning through “makerspaces” – creative physical outposts where those with similar interests can collaborate, invent and tackle problems with hands-on learning.

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Since the station was installed in 2014, it has become Lotts’ catalyst for crowd-drawing events, contests, course assignments and workshops, such as a Block Party, “Create Your Ideal Lego Library” challenge and academic group problem-solving. One of her favorite moments occurred when she joined two Russian visitors at the station. “That was community at its finest: None of us spoke the others’ languages but we collaborated, built and shared an experience,” she says.

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Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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