As a large regional library service (18 branches and a mobile library) we have approached maker spaces through low tech, crafty programming; as a resource that can be shared between branch libraries and not focused on technological equipment.
Craft has long been a much-loved and expected part of our children’s programming, and the trend for maker style adult programming has been strong and a natural progression for our libraries.
Kits are created by staff at the RRL Administration Centre that can be delivered by our internal delivery service to our branch libraries. The kits are designed so that they can be run by either Administration staff or branch library staff. The focus is on fun programs that teach skills that can be built on down the track. The kits range in complexity; from a colouring in or sharpie tie-dying to silk painting and felt making. All that is needed to run the program – equipment, samples and a presenter’s guide - are included in the tubs. For any library interested in our silk painting and felt making kits, we can send out presenter guides, equipment lists and suppliers – email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Administration staff are continually searching for programming ideas that are posted to a secure portal on our website. Branch staff can then choose from these ideas to deliver at their library. We have many prepared kits waiting for use by our staff and many more ideas waiting for development.
We have found the kit system a great way to deliver a variety of maker style programs in our libraries. The positives are; making space in our libraries for makers; building skills of branch staff and the community; allow intergenerational programming; and best use of staff time, both at Administration and branches.
by Cynthia Price, Riverina Regional Library
You can see a video with further information on the Reference and Information Services Group Youtube channel.