Why the sudden interest in #makerspaces?

I’ve watching with interest to see where #makerspaces, in a general sense as well as specifically in libraries, are headed both here & overseas.

I’ve also been fascinated to see the growth of the fixer movement, creating #fixerspaces (organised by groups like NY Fixers Collective) – where people bring broken things in (everything from bikes to toasters) to either fix them back to a working state or re-purpose them into another use, rather than creating/making something new – with information & resources shared online via sites such as ifixit.org.

I’ve also spent a fair amount of time associated with Christchurch over the past three years and have seen the power & impact of grassroots collaboration (GapFiller, Ministry of Awesome, Student Volunteer Army) to make interesting things happen in communities.

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Giving back to the profession in other ways #mentoring

We all lead busy & varied lives, and sometimes we feel like we just don’t have the time to be on a committee, be a mentor, run a workshop, take part in a MOOC, or even just fill in an online membership feedback survey, because it all seems too big, too hard, too much.

What if … we flip that thinking?

Instead of thinking I can’t participate in [insert task that seems overwhelming] at the moment because I am too busy/tired/fed up [insert adjective of choice], what about contributing in other ways instead? Think small & achievable contributions rather than bigger-than-Texas.

We all bring different strengths to the table – look at your peers, can you see the writers, the organisers, the workhorses, the dreamers, the leaders, the artists? Every one of them has something to offer to the library industry. Instead of relying on a small group of committed individuals who regularly step up to industry committees/project groups/conference organisation, we could share the load if we broke it down into more manageable sized “tasks”, we could play to people’s strengths and achieve something truly awesome as a profession.

The collective is stronger than the individual.

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