Library Makerspace Survey: the Results Are In

by Allison Cavis, Library IT Specialist

You may notice a parade of bicycles entering the Library this Monday. It’s going to be quite a sight—and a sign that our library is steadily becoming a destination for hands-on learning! This Wednesday, May 2, at 6 p.m., you’re invited to join us as we explore Arduino, a platform for making creations with electronics. We’ll build a fun Simple Simon memory game from the ground up. . Be sure to register here.

Makerspaces are built on the idea that learning and personal enrichment happen when we take part in hands-on, interactive, and creative collaboration. As a place of community learning, the library is an ideal home for a makerspace where knowledge and whimsy unite.

Maker programs are something our community has asked for over many years, and as a result, we integrated them into our strategic planning. Last year, thanks to two generous donors to the Library Friends & Foundation, we took a big step forward. During our second floor renovations, we created a new space just right for making.

We knew this room would be useful for all kinds of activities, but with so many possibilities, how should we apply our energies? What types of programs should we plan? What equipment and supplies should we add?

That’s where the Makerspace Survey came in. Your 220 responses gave us excellent data, and we thank everyone for their ideas, insights and suggestions.

We’ve spent some time analyzing the survey responses, and we’ve collected the results into six major themes, 33 broad areas of interest, and 71 specific subject areas. Here are some of our takeaways:

  • The three most popular major themes are Technology (35.8%), Crafts (29%), and Do-It-Yourself activities (24.6%).
  • Among the top areas of interest were Desktop Manufacturing, Sewing, and Computers.
  • In the individual subject areas, Woodworking, Sewing, and Metalworking all scored high. But there was one runaway winner: 3D printing. We’ve offered several 3D printing programs over the past year, and your feedback tells us you are enthusiastic to learn more about this innovative technology!

 

A big thanks to the community members who completed our survey, and congratulations to Judy Long, whose name was selected at random as winner of the wood toolbox!

We look forward to studying this data even more closely in the coming weeks and using your responses to set priorities for programs and resources. We’ll keep you updated as our plans for more creativity and learning at the library take form.