The image of the quiet public or school library is quickly disappearing, as libraries begin to transform to fit the needs of today’s society.
Many public libraries are modifying existing library spaces to include Makerspaces, Fablabs and the like. Public and private K-12 educational institutions are also following suit. Libraries have the power to transform communities by providing spaces and programs where patrons have the ability to create and collaborate with others. Science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) based programs inspire patrons of all ages to use their creativity to become innovators and makers.
I love the 2017 Collaborative Summer Library Program “Build a Better World™” many public libraries throughout the nation will offer STEAM-based programs in conjunction with the Build a Better World™ theme.
I’m elated that many libraries have transformed their spaces to include makerspaces and are also providing STEM and STEAM-based programs for their patrons. However, many of the STEM programs that are offered through the libraries are conducted by guest speakers or partnerships with local community resources. It’s great to have the partnerships with the local educational institutions and organizations but what I would truly like to see is libraries allocate funding for their staff to receive quality and sustainable professional staff development that will provide the staff with the knowledge and pedagogy base to conduct makerspace, STEM and STEAM-based explorations.
I have developed a series of hands-on-minds-on training workshops that introduces library staff to the maker mindset, makerspaces and STEAM-based practices and content. The workshops can be funded through local library funding, 21st century grants, STEM grants, and more…
It’s my hope that in the not so distant future that it will become the norm to walk into any school or public library and see patrons truly immersed in an environment that promotes the use of creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration.
Check out the training workshops I provide world-wide, year-round to library staff.