WIth maker culture on the rise, many librarians have begun venturing into the world of makerspaces, maker faires, and maker-related activities. Some have found this an easier task than others, and even those who are learning quickly tend to do so in isolation, without a way to reach out and talk with others who are doing similar work.
Sharing and collaboration are integral not only to maker culture, but to libraries, as well. It was in this spirit that I set out to create MakerBridge, an online community for everyone interested in makerspaces and maker culture. MakerBridge is intended as a network for librarians, teachers, club leaders, scout leaders, community leaders, and even individual tinkerers and geeks who want to share their experiences, learn from others, and ask for advice in their own work. Everyone is welcome, regardless of affiliation, geographic location, or level of knowledge.
My idea initially formed as I read this article from American Libraries. Travis Good encouraged Maker Monday attendees to create an online portal for the purpose of sharing information and rating tools. Agreeing that this could be a valuable resource, I set to work and developed MakerBridge with the much-appreciated help of my colleagues at the University of Michigan, Ferris State University, and the University of Houston.
It’s my hope that MakerBridge can bring people together and create new opportunities for exploration. I think maker culture fits well within libraries’ existing mission to help patrons actively engage in learning, and I think makerspaces help promote a kind of creative literacy that can be especially important for young people to develop.
Please create a free account on MakerBridge and join in the discussion! Feel free to post in the forums, add and rate new tools, and explore the content others have already begun to publish.