I am available throughout the year to speak on the following topics, and am also happy to customize presentations or workshops for your organization. Please contact me for my fee schedule and to schedule a talk or presentation.

Creating Effective Makerspaces

There are four essential milestones to effective makerspace planning and development: Assess Community Needs and Interests; developing community asset maps; creating your budget and plan based on survey results and assets and codifying your mission, goals and code of conduct to design with focused intentionality. This talk gives a high level overview of the steps within each of these milestones, to help you embark on your makerspace development, design, or redesign to help you create the most effective makerspace program possible for your library.

Inclusive Makerspace Programming & Design

Designing truly inclusive and accessible makerspaces means taking more into consideration than ADA type access. It means that in addition to creating space accessible to those with cognitive, visual and other impairments, it should also be welcoming to those on the Autism spectrum, as well as those with developmental disabilities, who can be better accommodated through staff awareness, quiet make sessions, and special sensory projects. Inclusive spaces also take cultural and ethnic community preferences and needs into consideration. This session explores best practices for intentional design and implementation of accessible and inclusive makerspaces and related programming, including issues of inherent bias.

Community Driven by Design

Assuming you have full administrative support to develop your space, the most critical step to developing an effective and sustainable library makerspace is community engagement. And that begins at the beginning, by consulting your community stakeholders regarding their own needs and interests. If creative space development doesn’t serve any particular community need, or attempts to provide solutions to problems that don’t exist, or resources for interests that aren’t there – like stocking 3D printers where people would really like sewing machines – then the effort to create such space can be a waste of time, money and human capital, with limited to no return on the investment. But taking the time to understand the surrounding community, and patron needs and interests can position your library for long term success and viability. This session will take participants on a step by step journey to developing community stakeholder sessions, surveys, and evaluation tools to help libraries develop the makerspaces and related program their unique community would most value and use.

Additional presentations and workshop sessions can be customized to event or program needs, and can include instructional material on

  • Hosting special events like maker festivals, hackathons, open make events & build contest, pop culture events like cosplay, gaming and anime festivals, entrepreneurial events, and other special programs like TEDx Libraries and youth robotics events;
  • Makerspace program development across a range of categories and topics, including hosting competitive youth STEM education teams like FIRST in the library
  • Tool and equipment inventory and
  • Practical space design and use.

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