Lynn Toumi, Denfeld High School (Duluth)

Thank you very much for the opportunity to attend the LibTech Conference at Macalester College. it was motivating and rejuvenating to network with colleagues and attend the informative sessions. All the sessions I attended were beneficial. I was very interested in session about library makerspaces. Our high school is exploring becoming a Community School and I think there will be a place for a makerspace.

Ignite Learning Opportunities for Children and Teens, was the session I found most helpful on the topic of makerspaces. The presenter, Nicholas Janning, Kirkendall Public Library staff to create a makerspace. Start up expenditures for their makerspace were approximately $9000. Some of the items obtained were a 3D printer, digital cameras, video cameras, recording equipment, sewing machines, and a green screen. The challenges faced were coming up with the programming strategies for activities and programming, mentoring/relationships, and celebrating successes.

My head was spinning with ideas but I realize I should start small and work to build a makerspace that my high school population will be drawn to. Collaboration with other groups will be key. Nicholas, the presenter, mentioned four potential groups to collaborate with: community members, businesses, robotics clubs, and boys scout/girl scout troops. There are many people within my workplace that will be helpful resources as well. This conference was beneficial, so well organizes, and the food was great! Can’t get better than that! Thank you for the opportunity to attend it.