April Roundup

Hello again.  It's time for everybody's favorite monthly roundup.  Our little CoP continues to grow, as does the amount of discussion and sharing.  Here's a snippet of a few things that were discussed throughout April.

1.  Staff Training/Train-the-trainer models

How do you make sure your staff/facilitators who are new to Maker type activities feel comfortable teaching and leading teens through said activities?  

It can certainly be intimidating to be handed a bunch of stuff, told to "be creative", and then just jump into making something.  It's definitely necessary to give staff a bit of messing around/training time to make sure they feel confident delivering this type of programming.  

The conversation brought up several good ideas, including;  

  • "Maker Sampler" tables where students and staff alike have several different tables with different activities.  Staff gain experience and comfortability with the activities while interacting with students in a playful, less intimidating environment.
  • Staff workshops or Tinkering sessions where one staff member leads other staff members through using a new piece of technology/equipment.  These staff training sessions not only help staff learn the new technology but opens up discussion and potential new uses/applications for that technology/equipment.
  • Operating Manuals for staff who have been trained but may need a reminder on certain policies, how equipment is used, how to deal with issues in the space, etc. . . 

For more on this conversation check out the discussion, here.

2.  YOUmedia Learning Labs Hallmarks Discussion


As our network grows wider (and grows more mature) a Task Force has been formed to formalize the hallmarks of our YM/LL practice.  The Task force includes;


Mo Yang, Anythink Libraries

Ryan Hill, ARTLAB+

Korie Twiggs, Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC)

Marcus Lumpkin, YOUmedia, Chicago Public Library

Hillary Kolos, DreamYard Art Center

Brandon Klevence, Maker Jawn, Free Library of Philadelphia

Andrea Ellis, KCDML, Kansas City Public Library

Adrienne Strock, Nashville Public LibraryElyse Eidman-Aadahl, Christina Cantrill, K-Fai Steele, National Writing Project


There has been some good discussion of the hallmarks in the discussion forum already (here) and in a Google Hangout held on April 30th.  If you were unable to participate, you can watch the archived hangout, here. This is an ongoing conversation but the Task Force is encouraging folks to share feedback (via the discussion forum, email, etc. . ) by May 22.  The YM/LL Task Force will also be holding a conference call (so more people can participate in the conversation) on June 3rd.  Below are the details of the call, from K-Fai;


"And this time we want to have a deeper level conversation with you. We realize that hangouts are by their nature limiting (10 participants), so we’ve decided to experiment with a conference call instead, using the shared slideshow as a common point of reference for discussion. We are looking at June 3rd at 11:00am PST/ 12 MT/ 1pm CT/ 2:00pm EST:

(866) 740-1260

access code: 6436624

In preparation for this call, please read through the slideshow and comments that have already been made. Feel free to make your own comments (Insert/Comments) and/or respond to others. You can also just bring questions to the conversation on June 3rd."


3.  3D Printer Use in Active Teen Spaces 

Several sites are trying to decide how/if they should use 3D printers in their YM/LL spaces.  More specifically, sites are looking at how to develop policies for 3D printer usage, which printers to purchase, and whether 3D printers are even worth the hype.  There is a lot to think about/discuss when deciding on purchasing and  developing programming with 3D printers.  If you've got any good tips/strategies/thoughts, think about contributing them to the discussion, here.  

And, because this is such a broad and involved topic, look for future discussions and possibly even a future webinar on 3D printing.

Thanks, all!  Keep the discussions rolling.