IMLS awards The New Face of Library Makerspaces to study how library maker programs shifted and innovated during the pandemic and build a diverse national library Collective to share and advance knowledge for the field.
The Califa Group, in partnership with Regallium Consulting, LLC and Nation of Makers is proud to announce that the project, The New Face of Library Makerspaces, has been awarded $249,940 as one of this year's grant recipients in the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program. This two-year Lifelong Learning project will set out to develop and launch a new national Collective of library members to share resources and learnings about how library makerspaces have and will continue to shift their services and programming post-pandemic.
The New Face of Library Makerspaces, will build on the IMLS investments in a three-year Library Services and Technology Act grant through the California State Library, which supported and guided 10 under-resourced public libraries across California in developing community-driven makerspaces and resulted in Makers in the Library: A Toolkit for Building a Community-Driven Makerspaces.
Lisa Regalla, Project Director of both grants noted, "The pandemic forced libraries to rethink their services and invent new ways to engage with their communities. We want to learn from innovative libraries nationwide about which approaches were successful and why, so we can share those developments with other library professionals. Going forward, some of these newly developed and tested modes of interaction have the potential to become core library maker services."
The New Face of Library Makerspaces will prioritize diverse and inclusive community building, both within the professional Collective itself and for the libraries they serve. Up to now, the maker movement as a whole has lacked diversity (confirmed by a 2019 Nation of Makers national survey). Dorothy Jones-Davis, Executive Director of Nation of Makers notes, "There is a deep and rich culture of making in communities of color; despite this, the mainstream maker movement has not historically acknowledged it, invited it, accepted it, or celebrated it. We know libraries are open to everyone and want to use that national accessibility to expand our movement of making and innovation to all. Nation of Makers is delighted to partner to support library staff as they seek out and celebrate the maker capacities already present in their communities while supporting a culture of learning for new and emerging makers." The project also aims to build geographically diverse membership into the Collective, prioritizing development amongst small and rural libraries across the U.S.
Activities for the two-year project will begin by researching models for the Collective, forming a charter group of libraries to co-create the Collective's structure, serve as leaders, and help it expand, developing professional development opportunities, and creating an addendum for the existing Makers in the Library toolkit that incorporates learnings from Collective members and new approaches to in-person and digital programming. Findings from this project will generate best practices for developing, assessing, and sustaining maker activities in libraries following the COVID-19 pandemic. The Collective itself will serve as a model for libraries nationwide to work collaboratively to share and advance knowledge for themselves and the field at large.
About The Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's libraries and museums. IMLS seeks to advance, support, and empower America's museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. They envision a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov.
About The Califa Group
The Califa Group is a nonprofit library membership consortium of more than 230 libraries and is the largest library network in California. With years of experience and a network of professional contacts, Califa has demonstrated capacity and experience in grant program design, delivery, and management. To learn more, visit CALIFA.org.
About Regallium Consulting, LLC
Regallium Consulting, LLC provides consulting services to develop equitable and creative STEM opportunities for all. Rooted in a strong scientific background combined with years of experience in various informal educational settings, Regallium Consulting's specialities include: project management, bridging research and practice, and creative curriculum development, space design and facilitation practices. To learn more, contact Lisa Regalla: email@example.com.
About Nation of Makers
Nation of Makers is a national nonprofit supporting America's maker organizations through community building, resource sharing, and advocacy, within the maker movement and beyond. The vision of Nation of Makers is to build a society where everyone has access to the tools, technologies, experiences and knowledge to make anything, and to create a thriving, connected, and inclusive community of practice where collaboration fosters a culture of abundance. For more information visit the Nation of Makers website.
About Rockman et al
Over the last 25 years, Rockman et al has conducted hundreds of studies for school districts, museums, nonprofit organizations, state and federal government agencies, universities, and a variety of commercial clients. As independent researchers, we often serve as external evaluators for grant-funded projects and foundations, and have worked on initiatives funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the US Department of Education, and the Smithsonian Institution. We've conducted formative and summative studies focused on informal learning—in museums, after-school clubs, and other informal settings—and in formal learning settings that span early childhood through secondary and post-secondary schooling and adult education. For more information see www.rockman.com.