The Idaho Commission for Libraries developed a pilot project in early 2013 to implement makerspaces in public libraries across Idaho and had a successful and exciting first year.idaho2 We worked with five libraries including Ada Community Library, Community Library Network, Gooding Public Library, Meridian District Library, and Snake River School Community Library to embrace “making” and push the boundaries of programming with tweens and teens.Idaho Each library exceeded every expectation, and demonstrated innovation, creativity, and drive in the implementation of the project. These successes made us even more excited to open up the opportunity to libraries for a second year.

We were overwhelmed to receive eleven applications representing libraries from many regions across the state. After careful review, we are pleased to announce that the following libraries have been invited to participate in the second year of the project:

* Aberdeen District Library
* Buhl Public Library
* East Bonner County District Library
* Jerome Public Library
* Portneuf District Library
* Twin Falls Public Library

Each of the libraries has committed two staff to participate in the year-long project. The first workshop will take place on February 24-25 at the Commission, and will focus on developing a foundational understanding of the maker culture and the design process. Participants will also develop skills in building with FischerTechnikâ„¢ manipulatives to explore construction, simple machines, engineering, and architecture. A second two-day training in May will focus on Robotics, and a final two-and-a-half day training in November will cover 3d design, 3D printing, and e-textiles.

Libraries from the first year of the project have also committed one new staff member to participate in the second year of the project in order to broaden their base of support and expand programming in their libraries. We are excited to welcome all of the libraries and new staff to the project and look forward to watching the learning, the making, and the creativity start to happen.

If you would like to read more about what we are doing in Idaho, please visit us at:
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This project has been made possible through funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.imls

Submitted by Erica Compton, Idaho Commission for Libraries

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