Monday, October 6, 2014

What direction should we take our library media centers in the future? Part 1: Makerspace

I just attended two days of the Arkansas Library Association Conference in Hot Springs, Arkansas. While there I heard a great keynote from futurist, Garry Golden.

He brought forth some important points we should all consider. One of the most important concepts I walked away with was that "libraries are destined to become social spaces and makerspaces in the next decade." I agree with this idea! Since this summer, we have been trying to master the new MakerBot 3D Printer in our high school library media center. Students (and teachers) are still experimenting with this new device.

For those of you that have never seen a 3D printer, it is essentially an open box with a print head that moves over a small platform. It uses spools of plastic (that look remarkably like what your weed eater uses) that come in different colors. The print head heats the plastic and shapes it into the form programmed into the printer.

One of our high school students helped print a geometric shape for one of our math teachers!

You can either download countless designs off of the Internet from sites such as the Thingiverse, or you can use a 3D tool to create your own files such as Google Sketchup Make. We are still learning how to use Sketchup Make, but students have created simple shapes successfully with this free software.

At the ArLA keynote, Garry stated that 3D printing will help develop the future of design and engineering. In the not so distant future, 3D printers will be everywhere. Rather than purchasing a broken part, we will be purchasing the file online to print; or we will design our own replacement part using this technology. There are already 3D printer created saxophones, prosthetic human hands, and according to the conference keynote speaker... jet engine valves!

We will continue to provide a makerspace for our learning community! I would love to see students creating artifacts that accompany concepts they are exposed to in the classroom. Imagine students printing a 3D human heart or a plant cell. The possibilities are endless! Thank you, Garry Golden, for making us all consider the future. I'll be keeping an eye on your website to see what trends are on the upcoming horizon. The school library of the future will be a wonderful reading space, makerspace, and learning space... more thoughts to come in another blog.

Please Subscribe if you are enjoying this blog. Please, put your email address in the box on the right side of the page. You will receive notifications when I post new blog entries!


Are you on Twitter?

Follow me : @stony12270

Follow our library (LHS_Library): @LHS_Library1

No comments:

Post a Comment