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Librarians Across CT Attend MakerSpace Symposium

October 2, 2013

trendspottersNearly 80 librarians from public, academic and school libraries in Connecticut attended a day-long symposium October 1 at The Westport Library to learn about the trend towards implementing makerspaces in libraries and expanding library services to include hands-on participatory learning experiences for people of all ages. The Connecticut Library Consortium (CLC), partnering with The Westport Library and Central Connecticut State University, sponsored the event.

trendspotters“People are learning differently now from in the past; they’re learning with each other,” said keynote speaker Pam Berger, director of the Southern Westchester BOCES School Library System. She cited a ninth grader who had published essays and short stories, saying that said had learned how to write by collaborating with others through an online forum. “This is what modern libraries are,” she said. “Libraries have always been learning communities, but they are more so now. The Maker Movement is intrinsically library related.”

Jeanine Esposito of Westport-based SPARK!Consulting conducted an innovation seminar for the group before they split up into a series of workshops including a Tech Petting Zoo, a tour of the Library’s MakerSpace, a soldering workshop and a discussion featuring video clips from individual experiences in the MakerSpace.

“We have the power to get out of our comfort zones, and do something different,” said CLC Executive Director Jennifer Keohane. “Now is the time for us to absorb new ideas, try new things, play, compare experiences, ask questions, generate ideas and have fun.”