American Library Association supports makerspaces in libraries

For Immediate Release
Fri, 06/13/2014

Contact:

Mary Ghikas
Senior Associate Executive Director
American Library Association
312-280-2518
mghikas@ala.org

CHICAGO — Libraries of all types (academic, public, school, and special) are increasingly transforming their library spaces, resources and programming to offer makerspaces that provide opportunities for library patrons to engage with others in hands-on learning and creation.

Reflecting this rising interest in the making movement, the White House plans to host its first Maker Faire on June 18. In addition to the Makers who will be at the White House itself, Americans will be celebrating a national Day of Making on June 18 in their homes, schools, makerspaces and communities.

The American Library Association would like to show library support for making in our communities. You and your institution may already be answering President Obama’s call for, “an all-hands-on-deck approach to science, technology, engineering, and math…to make sure that all of us as a country are lifting up these subjects for the respect that they deserve.”

Makerspaces in libraries allow everyone to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills; they facilitate opportunities for collaboration and community engagement that will aid in entrepreneurial thinking as well as the next generation of STEM jobs. They provide access to tools (from books to 3D printers) and, most importantly, “access to each other.”  Library makerspaces are powerful informal learning spaces that give local community members the ability to create, hack, and make their future. 

American Library Association President Barbara Stripling has noted the value of makerspaces in libraries, saying, “Makerspaces are enabling libraries to transform their relationship with communities and to empower community members of all ages to be creators of information, not just consumers.”

If you would like to express your library’s support for makerspaces in libraries, please email Lauren Britton at lmbritto@syr.edu, who is serving as the American Library Association’s representative for this effort.  Time is running out and ALA would love to have your library represented!

For more ways to get involved, visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/webform/white-house-makerfaire-interest-form. You can also follow #NationOfMakers.

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