by Katie Behrens

Make It At Your Library

I was so excited this summer at ALA 2013 to hear that Instructables, a maker-themed online database/website, was going to be “pairing up” with librarians to sift and winnow the best maker projects for libraries.  That project is now online for all to enjoy at Make It @ Your Library!  Make It @ Your Library grew out of an IMLS grant-funded library program (ILEAD USA), with “the intention of helping librarians realize makerspace projects in their communities” (how could we NOT love this??).

Make it @ Your Library believes that content creation in the library is a vital direction for our libraries to pursue.

So far, the curating librarians have featured over 150 projects from Instructables that are good fits for the library, depending on available tools, materials, and time.  Projects range from simple stamp making to a turn-signal biking jacket (wearable electronics) to a clay MaKey MaKey controller… and so much more!  The projects are sorted into five categories:

  • Activity Ready: No serious tools, no committed space, one-sitting project
  • Project Group Ready: No serious tools, no committed space, recurring meeting
  • Temporary Tool Ready: Pack-away tools, no committed space
  • Clean Tool Ready: Committed clean tools in a committed space
  • Dirty Tool Ready: Committed dirty tools in a committed space

Make It screenshotThis makes searching a breeze, especially with color-coded borders on all the photo thumbnails.  Individual project pages also include a suggested age range, a general category (workshop, living, outside, play, technology, and food), and approximate time and cost per person.

The lovely librarians who contribute to making this resource possible also write blog posts from time to time, so be sure to periodically check out what they have to say.

And, most importantly, this resource needs YOUR input!  If you’ve done a fantastic maker project at your library, contribute a tutorial to Make It @ Your Library.  Or if you know of a pre-existing Instructables tutorial that is do-able for a library, suggest it.  The library maker movement depends so much on collaboration, so share the joy of creative content creation with others!

Make It @ Your Library is still a very new resource, but one that we will be following with great interest!

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