Oops! I broke the 3D printer! And you know what? It’s OK.
Bits of a 3D printer, post hacksaw
One night on The 2nd Floor of the Chattanooga Public Library I attempted to make 3 Stretchlet bracelets on our 3D printer at one time. We’re taking our 3D printer to the local children’s museum later this month and wanted to built up our arsenal of 3D printed giveaways. My idea was to attempt to speed up that process and boy oh boy did it not work.
I came back to see the mess you see below. Something went wrong and our whole extruder was covered in plastic. I attempted to chip bits of the plastic but I had no luck. I called on James and Geoff from The 4th Floor to assess the damage. They took our 3D printer away, let us borrow one of theirs (thank you oh so much), and came back down 15 minutes later with the diagnosis: the electronics were a-ok, but they had to cut out some bits with a hacksaw. They contacted MakerBot support and the final verdict was in…
Thanks for contacting MakerBot Support! The part that are you are inquiring about can definately be purchased by contacting MakerBot Support at 347.334.6800 Option 2, MOnday through Friday 9am-6pm (EST).
The name of the part is called Extruder Carriage and the cost of the part is $12.
Phew. The 3D printer will be good to go in a week or so, and the damage wasn’t too bad. What did I learn besides the obvious “don’t make too many stretchlet bracelets at one time”? Well, it helped me see that even if I make a mistake with this 3D printer thing that it’s all going to be ok. It’s just a machine that can be fixed. It’s not the end of the world.
Now I have this awesome pile of plastic and bits of a 3D printer lying around that everyone on the 2nd Floor can show to tweens and teens and say “see, we messed up and that’s OK because we learned something.”
J: Yah, just a test. We put it online because that’s the whole point of the on air hangout…to record a conversation and share it online. Plus, it was kind of neat to watch how we worked through any trouble we had.
J: Yes. What we’re doing on the 2nd Floor of the Chattanooga Public Library (our space dedicated to ages 0-18) lines up really well with what the 4th Floor is going for. We want to try neat things and see if they stick. We’re happy to show our successes, failures, and the road we took to get there.
W: Can you share any other ways you’re putting your tests and trials out there?
W: But isn’t that embarrassing putting all the errors and mistakes out there for the public to see?
J: Not at all. Part of the fun is trying out new things and seeing how the community reacts. If they don’t respond to something we do on the 2nd Floor, all that says to me is “keep on thinking, keep on trying.” It’s actually pretty exciting.
W: That’s very cool. I think it’s good for us to remember that while we might be good at librarianship, and a few others things, there are people in our community who use our libraries who are much better at certain things, and their input and observations on our library processes and trials can help build better services.
So I see you’re doing a summer coding camp at Chattanooga – what is that teaching the teens about keeping your mistakes open and public? Software development is a wonderful example of how something (like computer code) can get better and better the more it’s distributed and developed by many people.
J: When I was a teen, I used to think that adults never made mistakes. They were the ones in power and they never messed anything up. Boy, I was wrong. That way of thinking had a big impact on me as I grew into adulthood. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be that “perfect adult” but what I was doing was something that I could not keep up with. No one is perfect. We all make mistakes and you know what? We grow from those mistakes.
I think making these mistakes and keeping them public is a great thing. It shows that we’re all human and that we’re all learning and growing.
W: We’re messing around with a 3D printer here, and one of my first pieces was dodgy so we finished the print before it was complete. I was going to throw it out but Neal my co-worker stopped me and pointed out that the print actually showed the insides and structure of a 3D print. Turns out, it’s a piece that other staff look at and are intrigued by the most!
J: That’s so rad to hear! When we create something, of course we want it to be perfect. But our colleagues and friends will see things a different way. Your idea of something that is junk may be someone else’s idea of gold.
A few weeks ago when you visited Chattanooga, you talked about how Australia is planning and implementing a country wide fiber optic system. With a project that big, there’s gotta be some mistakes that are made along the way. How has your country been managing this project and any mistakes that are made? I can imagine that if there are any bumps along the way there may be a huge public reaction.
W: Such a big, expensive project comes with a lot of scrutiny, and every mistake or misjudgment can easily get blown out of proportion by the project’s critics. One thing that this and other technology related projects has taught me is the economic concept of ‘opportunity cost’. Some of the criticisms leveled at Australia’s National Broadband Network include the idea that we should wait until the relevant technology gets cheaper, more reliable, etc. The opportunity cost is that while we’re waiting for that time, we miss out on the benefits that implementing that technology now could bring.
I think this thinking helps to round out the idea of ‘making mistakes’ in our daily work. By not making mistakes, by not taking responsible risks, by waiting until someone else makes it perfect before can adopt it, we miss an opportunity to benefit from any success of the project now.
Warren Cheetham is the Coordinator of Information and Digital Services at CityLibraries Townsville. He has worked in public libraries for twenty-one years, and his professional interests include the application of technology to public libraries, and how to best deliver information services, reader engagement, corporate research services and training to library staff and customers in an online environment.
PARTNERS Since the program happened on The 2nd Floor of the Chattanooga Public Library it would be easy for everyone to think that this all happened at the library and it was all the library and that was that. But that’s not the case and I’d like to take this moment to tell you about our partners. Without the support of Engage 3D, AIGA Chattanooga, and the Benwood Foundation, DEV DEV would not have happened. Their support (educational, funding, brainpower, design, etc) and dedication to the program and the community of Chattanooga is one of the key ingredients as to why this beta test run of this program was as successful as it was.
It really takes everyone in the community getting together to make amazing things happen.
SUPPORT Without the support of EVERYONE at the Chattanooga Public Library, DEV DEV would not have worked. Every day, the circulation staff would wait on the teens that came into the library at 9am, making them their white hot chocolates and letting them in the doors before the rest of the public could get in. The rest of the staff smiled and welcomed the teens every day. They knew how big this was for the teens attending DEV DEV and they made sure they had the times of their lives.
Photo by @chattlibrary http://instagram.com/p/chi99IiWnz/
The parents brought it all together. Not only did they drive the teens back and forth from the library, but on the last day of the program they came out to show their love and support. It is in moments like this where you can just see teens gaining so much love and respect for their families. Awesome.
TEENS DEV DEV would not have happened were it not for the amazing talent and dedication of the teens involved in the program. For four weeks, you gave your attention and hard work to learning how to build websites, make robots dance, and program video games. You blew all of our minds. For me personally, as I get older, I am happy to know that the world is in such good hands. To borrow from southern lingo….Ya’ll are gonna do some amazing things.
SO WHAT’S NEXT? DEV DEV was not meant to be a one shot program but instead an ongoing series, a library/community brand if you would like to call it that. As with any program of this size and scope, some time is needed to rest, reflect, and accurately plan the next steps. We’ll be doing that over the next few weeks at the Chattanooga Public Library. I already had a great discussion today with Engage 3D Education Director James McNutt about online learning communities. He is a brilliant dude and I can’t wait to see his ideas in motion.
“We’re going to grab up these fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders and show them their future,” said Ms. Wincek, who thinks the printer could influence some of their career choices.
Library board president Matt Phillips said Ms. Wincek’s enthusiasm is why the library has the printer.
“It’s prompted us as a board to share in her passion,” said Mr. Phillips, who owns an insurance agency in Saxonburg. “We’re not a big library, and we have something that many large libraries and institutions do not have.”
Erin’s got the vision and community support. When you have those, amazing things can happen in public libraries.
Also in the mix is my general frustration with library technology. We pay BILLIONS to ILS and other vendors each year, and for what? Substandard products with interfaces that a mother would kick to the curb. We throw cash at databases because they have the periodical content our clients need locked up inside them, and over a decade after the failure that was federated searching, we STILL do not have an acceptable product that provides a user-friendly interface and makes managing the data behind the scenes as easy as it needs to be for library staff. – See more at: http://ninermac.net/breaking-up-with-libraries#sthash.F7Wn43FP.dpu
I had been thinking about this same thing for the past few years when I made an attempt to look into a digital product for teens. My thoughts with that product were:
1) Wow, I don’t know any teens that would use this.
2) Wow, this is so expensive and there is no way I could ever afford this.
3) Wow, this product has such horrible design.
The outcome? I did not buy that product.
It was not until a few days ago that while under the influence of Nina’s post and seeing the amazing work that Dan Eveland (Web Developer, Chattanooga Public Library) and Mary Barnett (Social Media Manager, Library) did on the Chattanooga Public Library website that I had it hit me: we really need to start investing in employees who can make amazing things that do what we want them to do.
The calender over at chattlibrary.org. Made by Dan Eveland and Mary Barnett. It looks great and the back end (where we do our work) is easy to use and well put together.
Like these calendars, databases, and whatever else that we buy from vendors, hiring awesome people to build stuff just for us is an investment. Sometimes your investment may not work out. But don’t think about that. You can always try again. But what if the investment in awesome people works out? You get awesome things that were built for what you need them for.
Made by Dan Eveland and Mary Barnett with input and ideas from myself. I think it turned out pretty awesome.
A good example is the website you see above, teens.chattlibrary.org. About one month ago, the team started talking about what we wanted to do with this site. We got some ideas and Dan put up a template and we slowly worked on it. Mary gave the project a deadline and said “let’s get this done” so all last week we put our hardhats on and did it. Dan and Mary built teens.chattlibrary.org to reflect what I thought teens would be looking for: quick awesome tidbits of information, news of big things going on for teens at the library, a hub for the Teen Advisory Board (TAB), and a contact page. All built with Drupal on The 4th Floor in about one month by some amazingly talented people on the Chattanooga Public Library team. The best part? It’s works super well, is easy to manage, and it is exactly what I was hoping for with the teen site. Another great part? If it needs fixed or modified, I only have to head up two floors to talk to Dan and Mary and it’s done.
Hiring awesome people to help you realize your library dreams? To me, that’s the way forward. Not only do you get amazing products that you can actually use for what you want, but you get to surround yourself and the library staff with talented and kind people who contribute to the positive vibe of the community. A win in every area.
(please note: This post originally appeared over at justinthelibrarian.com)
Instead of siphoning teens off into different rooms (and locking away noisy activities), the space is airy and completely open. The openness means, among other things, that it only takes one or two librarians to monitor the entire space.
Rice says his team renovated the floor on the cheap, using paint and low-cost materials to fill the space. “Teens appreciate the rawness,” he says. “Rich materials might be a little bit of a turn-off.”
The key, he says, is a space without much security, where kids feel free to just hang out. “It makes teens feel as if they have free reign over the space,” he says. “They don’t feel like they’re under this intense adult scrutiny.”
This is what it’s all about: A tween and his Dad enjoy Ms. Pac Man at the Library
When I was a teenager, I spent most if not all of my time in video game arcades in shopping malls. It was the time of fighting games…Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat, World Heroes, Primal Rage, and many, many more. Who knows how much money I spent playing those games and more importantly, who cares. What mattered most (and what sticks with me to this day) was being in the same room with people my age who enjoyed the same things as me. It was exciting. It was fun. It created friendships and community.
Video gaming in libraries isn’t a new thing. It seems to have picked up steam in the last decade and is now something that most libraries will offer to their communities. This is a good thing: video games can be fun, rewarding, help those playing them understand stories/character/plot, and so much more.
I’ve always wanted to recreate that vibe that I felt back when I used to frequent the arcade in the public library. It was exciting to stand around an arcade machine and watch someone get as far as they could in a game on one quarter. It was exciting to go one-on-one with someone in a game like Street Fighter II or Mortal Kombat. Public libraries are places where people come together and experience something. Why not have a bit of that something be an arcade machine?
It has been a dream of mine to get an arcade machine in a library since I started in libraries back in 2007 and this past week, thanks to the Friends of the Chattanooga Public Library the support of the staff at the Chattanooga Public Library, and my wife Haley (she found it on Craigslist for only $150!), we now have an original Ms. Pac Man arcade machine on the 2nd Floor of the library…and it has been a great thing. I love seeing the reaction people have when they realize that the library has an arcade machine. I love seeing families (like the photo above) playing it together. I love seeing the teens gather round and have tournaments to see who can get the highest score.
I cannot wait to see the community and friendships that this little ‘ol machine will create.
This idea came from a film maker last year. He wanted to work with the library & the only money we had was from a grant from the Allstate Foundation. It was a large project where over a dozen teens worked on a PSA that lasted 5 minutes. We took that as a learning experience.
This year we found another local film maker named Mike LaVoie. I contacted the White Plains High School SADD chapter to see if they would like to work on the project. We had a smaller group…I think there were about 7 teens altogether. Mike put togethera no-budget script and explained it to the teens. I (Teen Librarian Erik Carlson) worked on locations, the library parking garage, a co-workers home & a local cemetery. Mike showed them some movie magic to make the car to appear to be moving, using fake smoke, lighting tricks. I came up with the eye drops for tears & one of the teens was able to talk a local medical supply store to loan us a wheelchair for the afternoon (this was a last minute thing).
Me, at the very beginning of my time in Library school.
I decided to be a librarian in late 2006 at the urging of my mother in law Jill. She had been a librarian for many years and spoke of her work very passionately. With a simple poke and a simple “you know, you’d be good at this library thing“, I was off to attend Clarion University of Pennsylvania in January 2007.
When I was a kid visited the Northland Public Library in Pittsburgh, PA on a weekly basis. I remembered two things about my time there: they had rabbits in the children’s area and they had the best selection of books on whales in the whole wide world. Oh yeah, and I thought it was a super fun and magical place. To me, that’s what libraries needed to be.
My time in library school was good but I always fell out of place. I wanted to have fun! I wanted the library to be this amazing place full of wonder, joy, exploration, and full of heart! Instead, I found myself writing out cataloging records by hand or presenting papers on teen literature. I got something out of that but…there was another side.
Since those days that’s been my focus with being a teen librarian. In order to succeed and give the community what they want, I realized that connection had to come first. All of those other things: collection development, cataloging records, and all of the other stuff I learned in library school were very important and had their place but first and foremost….IT’S ABOUT PEOPLE. I feel like it has worked out pretty well for me and the communities that I’ve served.
This taught me something else that was somewhat unexpected: there is so much value in connecting with your professional community. Through library blogs, Twitter, and other social networks, I have met a number of people that not only doInowcallmyfriendsbutalso who have given me so much professional advice and aided in my growth as a librarian and as a person.
All because of a blog that was started ten years ago. I don’t know if Michael thought about these kinds of things when he started Tame The Web, but they happened. And I thank him for that. What may have seemed like a ripple at the time has now created a very positive and helpful tidal wave.
Monessen residents soon will be able to borrow library books – at the laundromat.
Jill Godlewski, children’s director at the Monessen Public Library, is planning to place several portable libraries scattered around town. Godlewski hopes to situate the wooden dispensaries once the weather clears.
“The idea is to get books to people instead of people having to come to the library to get books,” Godlewski said. “We want to make sure there are no barriers to getting a book.
My favorite part? A partnership with the local school!
Monessen school district Superintendent Linda Marcolini is planning for wood shop students at the high school to build sturdier, weather-proof units for outdoor locations like City Park.
“Mr. (David) Gilpin, our shop teacher and students will be making them,” Marcolini said. “They will get done before the end of the school year… our district would do anything for our community and public library.”
What an awesome take on an already awesome project.
PS: Jill Godlewski is not only a fantastic librarian, but she is also my mother in law. -Post by Justin Hoenke, Tame the Web Contributor
I’m Your Neighbor, Portland is a Portland, Maine community-wide read and series of public events in designed to promote a sense of community among the diverse people who make the port city their home.
I’m Your Neighbor, Portland is sponsored by the Portland Public Library and funded by the Maine Humanities Council.
Over the last three decades, the city of Portland has seen a significant cultural shift through the arrival of immigrants and refugees from Asia, Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. Here in Maine, we’re blessed with a crop of recent titles, from picture books to young adult novels, that offer both particular cultural details about the lives of recent arrivals to our state and themes to which any reader can relate.
The goal of I’m Your Neighbor, Portland is to engage members of the Greater Portland, Maine community, both new arrivals and long-term residents, in reading books about recent immigrants to Maine and sharing in discussion of differences and commonalities, to build understanding between the two groups.
The series will open with a gala launch on May 25, 2013
Thursday nights can be slow at my library. The teens have all gone home for the day, and the only ones that remain are the quiet few who are tearing through their homework or have their eyes focused on their internet browser. Tonight at my library, the scene was the same but before me was a pretty huge question:
My little brother locked me out of my iPod. He’s five years old and he won’t tell me how to unlock it. How can I start again? Do I need to buy a new iPod?
The teen was pretty bummed that he couldn’t access his music. I’ve seen him here in my library before…he’s always got his headphones on and he’s always got a smile on his face. You can tell that this kid loves music. Tonight, I didn’t see that kid. I saw someone who was really bummed out. He presented his iPod to me.
That’s where we were to start. With a quick Google search, I showed him how to find help on Apple’s website: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1212. He tells me that he didn’t know that there were such helpful things on the internet.
Our next step was restoring the iPod. I told him that everything was going to be deleted, and he understood. He said that all of his music was on his computer (more on that to come)
After about ten minutes of waiting and watching the iPod slowly restore itself, the teen’s frown turned into a smile. He was the same kid that I remember seeing every other day in the library. When Welcome to Your New iPod flashed on the screen. He threw his hands up in the air. ”YES! FINALLY! THANK YOU!”
Next up, we searched for his music. He had never used iTunes before, so all of his music files were buried in a Real Player folder somewhere on his hard drive. He helped me locate the folder and I showed him how to drag and drop into iTunes. He smiled again when his music library showed up. My final step was telling him about syncing his device. I told him to use iTunes to manage his music and to always keep iTunes synced to his iPod. His music library automatically refilled itself and when it was done, he disconnected his iPod from the computer, plugged in his headphones, gave me a fist bump, and walked away jamming out to his music.
Thursday nights can be slow at my library, but they can also be some of the best times I’ve ever spent in a library.
I’m very honored to be part of this years President’s Program Planning Task Force for YALSA. As part of this program, we’re announcing this years Excellence in Library Services to Young Adults program which you can find out about below. If you’re a teen program who’s doing awesome things, I highly suggest you think about being part of this program. There’s a lot of great teen programs out there right now being put on by hard working librarians and this is your chance to share them with everyone!
YALSA will select up to twenty-five innovative teen programs from all types of libraries to feature at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference and to include in a sixth edition of Excellence in Library Service to Young Adults. Successful applications will focus on programs that address new teen needs or interests, or that address ongoing teen needs or interests in an innovative or unique way. The top five programs will receive cash awards of $1000 each. Up to twenty “best of the rest” programs will receive cash awards of $250. Each award will be presented to the applicant’s institution for use with future teen programs and/or for the applicant’s travel to the 2013 conference to participate in the YALSA President’s Program.
The program described in the application must be a library-sponsored event, inside or outside the library, which appeals to a group rather than an individual. A program can be informational, recreational, educational, or all three.
The program described must have taken place in 2012 or be ongoing.
The program must be targeted at teens within the 12 – 18 age range.
All personal members of YALSA whose membership is current as of 12/17/12 are eligible to submit an application.
Only one application per YALSA member may be submitted.
Criteria Each application will be judged on the basis of the:
Degree to which the program meets the needs of the teens in the community. (20 points)
Originality of the program (creative, innovative, unique). (30 points)
Degree to which the program reflects the ideals identified in YALSA’s national guidelines and competencies (at www.ala.org/yalsa/guidelines). (20 points)
Overall quality of the program (well planned, promoted, organized, implemented, and evaluated). (20 points)
Clarity of the application (10 points)
Instructions 1. The application must include a statement of support from the director of the public library, school principal, or the building-level administrator which is emailed to email@example.com.
2. Entries must be models of clarity and completeness.
3. The application must be submitted electronically via the online form at http://ow.ly/eKh40.
4. All online forms and statements of support must be received no later than midnight (eastern) Dec. 17, 2012.
5. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
Announcement The libraries selected with exemplary programs will be announced via press release the week of Feb. 4, 2013.
All of the selected programs will be invited to participate in YALSA’s President’s Program: Innovations in Teen Programming at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference. Prize money may be used to support travel and conference expenses.
All of the selected exemplary programs/services will be included in YALSA’s Excellence in Library Services to Young Adults, 6th edition, to be published in the fall of 2013.
Libraries receiving the cash awards will be recognized via press release and on the YALSA web site. A list of winning applicants will be included in the forthcoming book.
For questions contact: Letitia Smith, YALSA Membership Marketing Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1.800.545.2433 x4390
Have you ever found yourself inside the library echo chamber? I think we all have. You’ve got something great to share or say about libraries and you put it out there…and it’s only talked about by librarians and libraries. Some great presentations and pieces have been written about the echo chamber (some of my faves are from Ned Potter, Sally Pewhairangi, and Steven V. Kaszynski). These have got me thinking…how can we avoid the echo chamber? My thought is this…expand the conversation and try, try, try your best to include those outside of the library world. But how can we do this? Here’s one way that I’ve found to be quite effective over the past few weeks.
I’ve fallen in love with a new service called Branch. What is Branch? It’s a new site that allows you to take ideas, tweets, and more and expand on them with anyone. Wanna talk beyond the 140 characters of Twitter or not get involved in a messy comment thread? Take it to Branch and have a conversation.
That’s exactly what I did when I started reading a series of posts on Read Write Web by Richard Macmanus titled Social Books. I saw that the posts had an audience. The article that caught my eye was this piece on GoodReads. Specifically, I noticed that 183 people have shared/liked it on Facebook and a whopping 583 shares on Twitter. I also noticed a lack of librarians in on the conversation. I wanted to see if I could expand the conversation and get some library perspective into the mix. So I took it to Branch:
What strikes me most are the number Facebook and Twitter shares. To me, that’s a lot of people who have checked out the article…and then shared it. Who knows how many people have actually read the article, but it’s likely that there’s even more.
And this is where I get most excited about this piece: think about how there are people out there today who are not involved in libraries reading about libraries, what libraries do, and how libraries improve community. That’s the cool part about expanding the conversation.
On a recent break from work at my library, I walked down to the local cafe to get my daily summer iced tea and lemonade. On my walk back to the library, I noticed a couple looking at a large map of Portland, ME. They looked like they were trying to find something but couldn’t figure out where to go. I stepped in and said, “Is there something I can help you find? I live downtown and I’m also a librarian. It’s part of my job to help people find what they need.”
In the end, I helped the couple find what they were looking for and we went our separate ways. It got me thinking about roving reference and how well it could possibly work OUTSIDE of the library. Imagine a few librarians roaming around downtown, helping people find what they were looking for, recommending great local businesses and restaurants, and handing out informational pamphlets that helped folks discover new things around the city? An idea like this may work best in a smaller town or one that had a tourist population, but theoretically it could work anywhere as well. Perhaps a great partnership opportunity for libraries and downtown districts could (such as this one: http://www.portlandmaine.com/) make the project even better. It would allow two organizations to share resources and people and give a new and exciting spin to librarians connecting people to the community.
I haven’t done a great job sharing the nitty gritty details about what’s been happening on The 2nd Floor of the Chattanooga Public Library and I wanted to take a moment to change that. I knew that the work here in Chattanooga would be unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in the past but what I didn’t realize was just how much work there would be. This is not a bad thing at all…in fact, it is a very good thing. The 10 months I’ve been here have been the best professional experience of my life.
So let’s play some catch up, shall we?
“THE DESK” We’ve been playing around with the concept of how we work on the 2nd Floor. There’s a strong drive to get us away from the “desk” model and into something that’s more of a “always working in and with the public” model. I’m totally on board. Why? We’re public librarians and the public is our bread and butter. If we ain’t helping them, what are we doing with our time?
The goal is to create something that isn’t big and scary and instead invites the community to work alongside us. We want them to sit next to us. We want them to feel that our workspace is a place where they can connect and hang out with us. It’s collaborative.
The “always working in and with the public” model has its good parts (we’re always there for the public) and the bad parts (how do we get away from the public when we need to do something else that requires focus?). We haven’t found the perfect answer but we’re trying new things. We’ll find what works for us and go with it.
For more on this, read Work Spaces PROGRAMS One of the things I’ve heard most from librarians is that you’ll never know how many people you’ll get at a program and there’s no really good way to predict these kinds of numbers. I agree. I’ve had some duds and I’ve had some hits. To answer this question, we’re trying something I like to call “neverending programming.” Why put a lot of energy into programs that only happen at a certain time during the day? Why not have things going on all the time?
How in the heck does one manage one 3D printer and make it avaliable for every single person in the community? I think about the answer to that question a lot. 3D printing takes time and when you have a city of over 160,000 to serve that’s a lot of 3D printing.
I also ask myself this question all the time: how do you make the 3D printing experience worthwhile? Going onto Thingiverse, finding something neat to print out, and doing that is great but there’s gotta be more, right?
Over the past few months, my colleague Megan Emery and I have come up with an informal program called The 3 D’s of 3D Printing. It’s part gamification, part badge system, part learning experience, part our way of making sure we’re not turning into a 3D print factory. Does it work? Parts of it does. It allows us to educate the kids, tweens, and teens about 3D printing and make the process into a learning experience. Where it doesn’t work is how it’s a drop in program that requires staff time. I’ve noticed that 3D printing interest happens most when we are busiest (Monday-Thursday between 4-8 and Saturdays between 1-5, FYI) and finding the time to really work with someone one on one isn’t going as smoothly as we’d like. But with everything else we do, we have the flexibility to change it to fit with what the community and the staff needs at this moment. I’ll be sure to check back in soon when we move from version 1.0 of this program to version 1.5!
We’ve moved so much stuff around (with the help of our maintenance staff, thank you!) in our quest to make the 2nd Floor a destination for ages 0-18. Books and shelves that were once here are now there and tables and chairs have been re purposed as creative tables and more. With the 2nd Floor, nothing ever stays the same and that’s a good thing…we are constantly trying to improve our services to best meet the needs of our users.
Thinking of the 2nd Floor as a flexible space that’s always changing has helped. Our director Corinne Hill says that the only certain thing these days is change and she’s right. If that’s what our staff can expect, then moving some furniture and services around won’t be so much of a big deal.
MANGER TYPE STUFF Here in Chattanooga I’ve been doing way more of what I’m calling manager type stuff. I make the weekly schedules. I book programs. I do staff payroll. I handle vacation requests. I make sure the staff is aware of all of the changes happening. It’s been a tough transition to this role but it is something I am really enjoying. Management is hard but very rewarding.
My management gurus these are a triforce of awesome. Corinne Hill (director of the Chattanooga Public Library) and Dan and Lisa Nausley of Sandler Training in Chattanooga have taught me more about management in the last 10 months than I’ve ever known. Like I said above, it’s challenging but it’s a welcome challenge. This is growth and growth is tough.
THE PEOPLE A lot of folks said “are you sure you’re gonna like the south?” when I announced that I was moving to Chattanooga. I’m happy to report that I finally have an answer for you: YES. What makes it great are the people. The city of Chattanooga loves their community and even more so, their library. Their input, suggestions, comments, and support help make the Chattanooga Public Library awesome. I point to The 2nd Floor Commercialas an example: directed by a local teen named Zachary Cross, this was filmed and edited on his own time just to share what the 2nd Floor is about.
Chattanooga is awesome. It’ll keep being awesome. I’ll keep on working hard to do my part.
2. I’ve never really been clear on what Medium can be. Is it a site for blog like writing? It is a site for simple sharing? Is it a site for long form publishing? David releasing his ENTIRE book on Medium shows me that Medium is ANYTHING that we want it to be.
3. It has amazing design. Articles published on Medium look beautiful and are easy to read. The interface for the writer (statistics, collections, etc) are easy to manage and great to browse.
Once again, David Lankes has put himself out ahead of the curve in the library world and released a full (and amazing) book on Medium. This isn’t one of those “this could be big” moments. This is one of those “THIS IS BIG” moments.
And one final thing: I really love how David handled this question on Twitter:
Madison Public Library is seeking two teen librarians who will embrace our mission to celebrate ideas, promote creativity, connect people and enrich lives and share our vision of the library as a place to learn, share, and create.
Happy birthday Finn! You are five! You are awesome! You have one of the most unique personalities of any person I have ever met! Keep being you and amazing things will happen. I am proud of you my little dude.
I am honored to be presenting with my co-worker Nate Hill at the Wild Wisconsin Winter Web Conference today at 1pm CST. We’ll be talking about the following:
From Testing to Deployment: Moving Technology from the 4th Floor to the 2nd Floor
New and emerging technologies, trends, and services should and can encompass several areas in your library. Hill transformed a 4th floor storage area into a vibrant beta space, while Hoenke transformed the youth services floor. This tag-team webinar will talk about the informal and formal processes and synergies between the two floors. They’ll discuss high-tech: 3D printing and vinyl cutting as well as low tech: button makers, crafts, and the Awesome Bear.
Thank you to the Marigold Library System for asking me to be part of their program. I am honored and SUPER excited to visit Strathmore! This is my first keynote ever…I am excited to move into this new chapter.
“Honestly, I simply wanted to manage a library the way I had always wished I had been managed,” says Hill, with a laugh, when asked to describe her management style. “Coming up in this field, you get so tired of hearing ‘No,’ or ‘Let me tell you why that is not going to work,’ or ‘We tried that years ago; it didn’t work.’ ”
The new ED clearly believes that the best way to manage and lead is to hire smart people and get out of their way. “Giving the staff autonomy and freedom is the only way you can do it. If you micromanage, you will get nowhere fast.”
“It is great to seek and find really smart people, and I inherited really smart people at CPL, too. I’ve got a fine mix here,” Hill explains proudly. “Many of the staff were really frustrated and were happy to see change arrive. They were expecting and worried that everything would shut down.”
Congrats to Corinne Hill on being named 2014 Library Journal Librarian of the Year. I chose to share the quote above with this post because it really captures her awesomeness. She’s got a great outlook on leadership and she really encourages all of the staff at the Chattanooga Public Library to dream big and try out amazing things.
CHAPTER ONE starts with a news story about libraries lending out various kinds of items other than books. One of the items mentioned in the news feature was part of a program that two of my dear friends organized and initiated. I was over the moon to not only see libraries in the news but to see them in the news for sharing unique things with their community. However, my mood soured when I saw that one of the items that my dear friends helped get in libraries being proudly displayed by someone with no connection to the original project. Even worse was that there was no mention of who was the catalyst for the amazing project.
CHAPTER TWO finds me at home with my family. While lying down with my son Aero while he napped, I decided at the urging of my big sister Heather McCormack to finally watch Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me. I had a previous flirtation with Big Star back in 2012 where I got an idea of their backstory but it really didn’t hit me how important this band was until I saw the film. They had created such a beautiful sound that I have long been in love with but I didn’t realize it until now. Big Star never got the proper credit they deserved while they were still around. Now, three out of the four original memebers of the band have passed into another plane of existence. Will they ever know just how important that the sounds they made are? I don’t know. That’s for another post. I noticed a similarity between the article about libraries lending out various kinds of items other than books and the story of Big Star: two stories about people and ideas ahead of their time, not getting proper credit in the moment.
See, I had always thought “ALEX CHILTON” when I thought of Big Star. He was the one behind the Big Star album Third/Sister Loversthat I’ve heard so much about. I was very wrong. The moment I first heard the opening lines of I Am The Cosmos I had a moment just like the moment I had when I made the connection between the article about libraries lending out various kinds of items other than books and the story of Big Star: THREE stories about people and ideas ahead of their time, not getting proper credit in the moment. Chris Bell was Big Star.
It was one of my great friends, one of the friends mentioned above in the article about libraries lending out various kinds of items other than books, that first told me about Chris Bell. I have no idea of the date, but I know it was a “hey, you think Third/Sister Lovers is good? Check this out.” He then proceeded to play me something from Chris Bell’s solo album. I was too “but, but, but BIG STAR THIRD/SISTER LOVERS ALEX CHILTON” to even notice Chris Bell at the moment. Another moment that was happening before it needed to happen.
CHAPTER FOUR happened this morning while in the shower. I noticed all of these similarities between the events of the last few days and the theme of folks not getting their proper credit in their own time all the while I Am The Cosmos played on my iPhone on repeat.
Every night I tell myself,
“I am the cosmos,
I am the wind”
But that don’t get you back again
I knew that I had to write this post as soon as possible. I had to put these thoughts out into the world. I knew it would be a risk to post it on this blog since it was out there and not dealing with libraries. So after I helped my wife Haley put our kids to bed, I began to type and I didn’t stop typing until the end of what you read here. What is it I am trying to do? I strongly believe that when you put something out into the world with a specific purpose, it will have that desired effect on the world. It will make the positive change you want it to make.
The change? That those who bring amazing things into the world get the love and good vibes that they deserve while they are all still with us. This is very important to me. This has always been very important to me. This will continue to be very important to me.
With all of that said, I give love and thanks to Kirsten Cappy and Michael Whittaker, two dear friends who live on Earth right now and are responsible for putting someamazing thingsout into the world and bringing a lot of joy to their community.