Sunday, November 8, 2015

Makerspaces @ ACC Libraries: Welcome to the BatLab

The popularity of the maker movement can be attributed to the 2005 launch of Make: magazine. A publication which encourages its readers to create. Shortly after the magazine's inception they began offering Maker Faires throughout the country, thus spearheading the worldwide maker movement. In 2015, the maker movement is still strong. Communities of makers are connecting, tinkering, innovating, and learning in makerspaces worldwide. A makerspace is loosely defined as a space which provides individuals the opportunity to create, collaborate, learn, and explore. While they are not solely defined by their tools or equipment, a typical makerspace may include: 3D printers, digital media and production, electronics, robotics, tools for welding or soldering, and traditional arts and crafts materials.

In recent years academic libraries have embraced the maker movement by allocating space, staff, resources, and programs to provide a makerspace (or maker activities) within the library. John Burke, Library Director at Miami University Middletown, recently shared his survey results on academic libraries and makerspaces at the 2015 Association of College and Research Libraries Conference. Burke suggests that makerspaces in academic libraries promote an atmosphere beyond the classroom where students (regardless of discipline or major) can experiment and learn. His full report is available here: Making Sense: Can Makerspaces Work in Academic LibrariesMakerspaces in academic libraries allow students to explore, learn, and create through participation in active learning, critical thinking, peer learning, and exposure to cutting edge technologies. The joining of makerspaces in libraries promotes equitable access to resources and technologies that a user may not otherwise have access to. This is also a core function of libraries.

This fall ACC Libraries is launching a pop-up makerspace concept coined the BatLab. The BatLab is a space which encourages: hands-on learning, student success and engagement, experiential learning, STEAM based learning activities, exploring, tinkering, creating, sharing, peer learning, co-curricular collaboration, and a no fear of failure attitude. The BatLab is open to current ACC students, faculty, and staff.
BatLab Attendees learning Arduino

The Library's approach is different from other ACC academic departmental maker-like-spaces and many traditional makerspaces in that it is not held in a dedicated space. In addition the Library will also be providing kits and materials for the ACC community to checkout, take home, and create. BatLab activities are also learning experiences with learning outcomes!

The Highland (HLC) Library and the Northridge (NRG) Library will serve as home base for many of the pop-up BatLab activities -- meet-ups, demo days, tech petting zoos and workshops. HLC Library will also serve as the central point for circulating the electronics and microcontrollers such as Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and Internet of Things - Photon kits.

To learn more about the BatLab or connect with fellow makers, stop by a Maker MeetUp at the HLC Library on Friday's from 9 am - 12 pm. To follow the project and see its progress visit the online BatLab Makerspace Library Guide which includes links to resources, projects, kit information, and a calendar of upcoming events. Browse the Library's collection of books and ebooks on makerspaces and the maker movement, Arduino, 3D Printing, Raspberry Pi and more!


ACC Libraries BatLab Basic Project Kit (Arduino)

Available Soon @ A Library Near You!





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