Artefacto Autumn News Roundup

Ever since we announced Artefacto and the Makercart joining forces in June this year, we’ve been busy helping Libraries build the Maker Education community by training and onboarding staff, running and attending events. Here we’ll like to share some of those stories.

Most of our work has been focused on helping Redbridge Central Library establish their Lab Central and Kent Library Service Digital Dens who secured funding through the Arts Council England Libraries Opportunities for Everyone Innovation Fund.

This works involves training staff and volunteers, supplying Makercarts (for children and young people) and running events.

Ozobots track photo

In terms of events, one of the most exciting developments has been partnering with Redbridge Libray Lab Central to deliver school workshops (you can read our previous blog about this work here for more info).

We see this as a way for furthering the Maker Education reach and as model for makerspaces to be more financially sustainable.

Check out our 6 (and a half) tips for running awesome workshops and training events post. We’ve also attended events such as the Libraries Global Excellence Tour where one of the most heartening parts was hearing each and every speaker emphasise the importance of putting users front and centre of everything we do in libraries. Kate has shared her ideas and some tools to hear user in her blog.

We’re also very excited to be presenting at this year’s Internet Librarian International conference, where we’ll be talking about Interactive library spaces and creating new user experiences with digital tech on the Wed 18th. You can check the full schedule for the conference here come and say hello if you’re attending!

In relation to training and onboarding staff over the last year (dedicated blog here), we’ve found our approach to how we provide staff training inevitably influenced by constructionist approaches. We aim to make our training as practical as possible and give participants as much time as possible to tinker and make.

Another interesting development for Library and Makerspaces has been seeing how the Library Taskforce taking a proactive approach to support and encourage conversations between different Library Services. We were invited to speak at their first event on the subject at the amazing Canada Water LIbrary and I attended the second event at the beautiful Victorian Leeds Central Library where progress (and barriers) encountered by libraries seeking to establish makerspaces were discussed. The Taskforce has published some useful guidance notes with lots of examples and further resources and articles.

Over the next few months, I’ve been invited to speak at the CILIP Multimedia Information and Technology Group: Affordable Futures: High-tech, low-cost Library innovations event on 17th November.

There has been lots of interest in the Makercart from other places too. We’ll be delivering workshops at the Crafts Council Make:Shift:Do event (full programme here).

And we’re hoping to further our work with museums, such as the tinkering workshops we’ve delivered at the Design Museum recently (I wrote a blog here) and by attending the Museum Computer Group +Tech conference at the London Imperial War on Nov 3rd.

Finally, we’re glad to see the launch of our community forum where we aim to keep help building the Maker Education community through open collaboration. Please do join in!