Just in time for Teen Tech Week planning, the second in a four-part series detailing how one state library commission facilitated a culture of learning and experimentation through the maker movement in a variety of library settings.

By Teresa Lipus, Public Information Specialist, Idaho Commission for Libraries (ICfL) with significant input from Erica Compton and Sue Walker, ICfL project coordinators.


Pilot libraries were selected in December 2012. Three webinars and three face-to-face trainings were held from January through November 2013.

Materials and tools

ICfL wanted to provide a variety of STEAM materials and tools so libraries could explore many different programming ideas. Selected tools:

  • supported project objectives,
  • aligned with Common Core Standards,
  • allowed for complex projects,
  • introduced motorized designs,
  • included curriculum and project ideas, and
  • included trainers or local support when possible.


Materials from PCS Edventures!, Reuseum, Maker Media/MakerShed, and RepRap MendleMax 3D Printers were chosen.


It was essential to enlist an experienced trainer to work with the team, and PCS Edventures provided Kellie Dean to lead the workshops. Dean is an expert on experiential learning and helped build the foundation needed to implement the pilot.
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We have each experienced a time professionally during which we didn’t feel educated enough, engaged enough, cool enough for our duties as professionals who serve young adults.’  For some of us, our training in YA services has only be on-the-job training (and “training” might be an overstatement!)’  YALSA is committed, as demonstrated in its Strategic Plan, to continuous learning and professional development.’  But to successfully engage its members, we need your input — your Great Ideas – as to how YALSA can connect members with current information, deliver continuing education, provide more training at local and regional levels with regard to YA services and issues, and increase overall the number of library workers competent in teen and YA services.

Here’s how to help YALSA members and potentially win $250:

1. Review Goal #3 of YALSA’s strategic plan.

2. Review guidelines of YALSA’s Great Ideas Contest.

3. Submit your Great Idea by March 16, 2012


You know you’ve found yourself, at one time or another, thinking, “I wish YALSA would…”‘  Well, here’s your chance to propose your wish to YALSA, by giving the organization a practical how-to on the topic of continuing education and professional development.

If you have any questions about the application or the process, please feel free to direct them to Priscille Dando, Strategic Planning Committee Chair, at pdando@gmail.com.

Reserve your spot today for “Advocating in a Tough Economy: An Advocacy Institute Workshop” during ALA’s 2010 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. Advanced registration is economically priced at $50 for the half-day program and will be available until May 14, 2010.

Learn how to better advocate for your library throughout this recession, and get the facts on frontline advocacy, the newest initiative from ALA President Camila Alire. Breakout sessions will focus on maintaining your budget, working with decision-makers, tips for a successful campaign and fundraising, and melding tradition and social networking to create positive messaging.

The program will take place from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday, June 25, at the Grand Hyatt Washington. For more information and to register, please visit, http://www.ala.org/advocacyinstitute.

Advocating in a Tough Economy: An Advocacy Institute Workshop is co-sponsored by the Delaware Library Association, the Maryland Library Association, the Virginia Library Association, and the Washington, D.C. Library Association. It is organized by the Advocacy Training Subcommittee of the ALA Committee on Library Advocacy, in conjunction with the ALA Office for Library Advocacy, the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF), the ALA Chapter Relations Office, and the ALA Office of Government Relations.