From Michigan Radio:
Over the past few years, makerspaces have become more understood – and popular.
Think shiny industrial warehouses with 3-D printers, laser engravers and metal-working tools. And – of course – think groups of people. As our most recent contributors to The Next Idea explained, makerspaces can become crucial focus points for entire communities.
Kristin Fontichiaro, a clinical associate professor at the University of Michigan School of Information, heads a program called Making in Michigan Libraries. It helps libraries around the state set up maker programs designed for the communities they serve.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services, the project’s funders, suggested focusing the program’s resources on areas of the state underrepresented in professional development.
Benzonia Public Library is one of the eight places chosen to receive a Making in Michigan Libraries grant.
In establishing maker communities, Fontichiaro said kids usually get on board readily – they have a natural sense of discovery. The next step is figuring out how to convince adults to become invested.
When librarian Amanda McLaren applied for the grant, her primary goal was to find a way to bring the community together in a way that people – kids especially – could interact.