Forum 8 Reflection Blog Post (Makerspaces)

What partnerships might be possible in your own community to create an “alternative” makerspace? What learnings might be had from observing existing spaces, talking with educators about the limits of those traditional models, and the potential of designing something that lies outside the schooling environment, in a common, shared, community space?

We actually have a pretty cool makerspace at the Fayetteville Free Library in Fayetteville NY called the Fab Lab. It has 3-D printers (and 3-D printing classes), sewing machines, laser and vinyl cutters, etc. I often frequent this library while babysitting for a professor in the area and they even have a “Little Makers” space in the children’s section!

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In addition, FFL often host events called “Human Libraries”, where visitors are invited to engage in dialogue with people they might not otherwise want or have the opportunity to interact with. The people who agree to be “on loan” come from a variety of cultural backgrounds, age groups, etc.

With that being said, Fayetteville has a bit more money than Syracuse does, and the library is well know for partnering with university students and pioneering innovation in the area. I think there is an opportunity for the library to collaborate with Syracuse libraries that are less innovative to share some of their makerspace expertise, and wealth of resources.

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