‘Maker Boxes’ encourage do-it-yourself programsThe Sturm Memorial Library and six other libraries in Waupaca County have come together to expand their programming by collaborating on a project that will be funded by the Library Services and Technology Act.
The Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) is the only federal program exclusively for libraries. It is administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and provides libraries with funds to start new services and programs or enhance already existing ones.
Manawa, along with Waupaca, Fremont, New London, Clintonville, Marion and Scandinavia, will provide “Maker Boxes” that allow the libraries to offer do-it-yourself (DYI) programs using different technologies and other resources.
The Maker Boxes are a small scale concept based on the direction many larger libraries are taking in creating “Maker Spaces.”
Maker Spaces, sometimes also referred to as DYI spaces, hackerspaces and fablabs, are places where people can gather to create, invent and learn. In libraries they often have 3D printers, software, electronics, craft and hardware supplies and tools.
Because these spaces usually require a lot of square footage in addition to major funding, the Waupaca County libraries are creating portable kits that can travel from library to library.
Sturm Memorial Library’s part in this project is to create canning Maker Boxes. The library has been able to purchase pressure cookers, water baths, including an electric one, and canning utensils.
With help from the UW-Extension, the library will provide a canning program at a later date and will then assemble the box with program ideas for shipment to the other libraries.
In turn, the library will be able to borrow Maker Boxes from other the other libraries involved in the project. Those boxes include 3-D printing, electronic cutting, music and sound recording, coding, Makey Makey, sewing and video production.
These maker boxes and the programs planned around them will bring new experiences and exposure to people throughout the county and will enhance collaboration between libraries and other service providers in Waupaca County.
Watch for more details on the individual programs that will be offered through this project.