Hosting Maker Days and Forging Collaborative Partnerships in Anticipation of an Academic Library Makerspace

Your Name and Title: Tara Spies Smith, Research, Instruction, & Outreach Librarian

Library, School, or Organization Name: Albert B. Alkek Library, Texas State University

Co-Presenter Name(s): Jessica McClean,  Research, Instruction, & Outreach Librarian

Area of the World from Which You Will Present: San Marcos, TX, USA

Language in Which You Will Present: English

Target Audience(s): academic librarians, public librarians, anyone wanting to initiate a maker culture and planning for a makerspace in the future

Short Session Description (one line): This session will highlight our experiences in planning and hosting three Maker Days at Alkek Library as a way to promote library resources, form collaborative partnerships with faculty from relevant departments across campus, gauge interest in maker culture, and position the library as a location for a potential makerspace.

Full Session Description (as long as you would like):  In fall 2016 we hosted our first Maker Day event in the library. The purpose of the event was to promote library resources, particularly our new 3D printing service, and join in the growing maker culture on our campus and in our community. We offered a variety of creative stations in different media, a project handout board, and books for inspiration. Based on our assessments, our first Maker Day event was successful. We took our assessment data and used it to plan the next two semesters' events. Survey feedback showed that our attendees really wanted to learn new skills. This informed our decision to reach out to experts on campus to collaborate with us on mini-workshops at our most recent event.

In addition to providing stress relief and a creative outlet for attendees, these successful Maker Day events help to position the library as a center for creative making and learning and enable us to form partnerships with researchers from other departments that are focusing on the evolving maker culture. These events align with the library's strategic teaching and research mission and also anticipate the addition of a permanent makerspace in the renovation of the library.

Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session:,                                                         

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