Billings, MT: TECH Lab

Billings Public Library’s Teen Education and Creation Hub (TECH) is a digital media learning lab for teens. The TECH Lab was initially funded through a grant provided by the MacArthur Foundation. The TECH Lab connects to the mission of the Billings Public Library through a shared purpose and goals. It is a safe space for teens to grow and learn by exploring creative expression through S.T.E.A.M. activities. The lab is youth-driven and includes access to technology and instruction by librarians with support from community partners among which are the Billings Public Schools, Montana State University-Billings, Rocky Mountain College, local businesses, youth centers and a mentorship program.

Six community crates will help bring the library to young learners

The Billings Public Library loves to have students in for a visit. But it also wants students — and their teachers — to be able to bring the library into the classroom.

A $20,000 grant from Phillips 66 to the Billings Public Library Foundation will enable just that, beginning this summer. Read the rest »

Moving Past Start-Up: Supporting Library Makerspaces Over Time

A group of YOUmedia makerspaces band together to innovate and support library makerspaces facing the opportunities and challenges distinctive to the middle, “post-emergent” years.

The start-up phase of any project is often the most heady—long hours, innovative breakthroughs, visionaries with big ideas. Read the rest »

Understanding the Post-Emergent Phase of a Makerspace

Creating and starting a makerspace is an exciting venture; you build a team and purchase new equipment. There are a lot of resources (people and articles) that describe how emergent makerspaces can get off the ground. Once your makerspace has been open for a few years, you begin to experience challenges that are distinctly different from those start-up challenges, and there are very few, if any, resources that describe what this new, “post-emergent” phase entails. Read the rest »