Sharing Making - Community Library Network at Hayden

Sharing Making - Community Library Network at Hayden

Welcome to the Week of MakingA yearly celebration by Nation of Makers that celebrates the innovation, ingenuity and creativity of Makers across the US.

Thank you, Nick Madsen, Youth Services Specialist at Community Library Network at Hayden, for being our FIRST participant in the Sharing Making series!  A series of posts organized by the Idaho Library Association Maker Committee that will share stories of making across the state. Learn what other libraries are offering, how they got their start, and other tips and tricks! Want to share your own story of making? Awesome! Here’s a Q&A form to get the conversation started.

3D prints of scanned busts

How long has your library been offering making opportunities?
5 years

Does your library provide informal opportunities that involve making? If so, how often, and what do they look like?Many of our informal opportunities are offered during established programs and events. Students have chances to win 3D printed models at our Teen programs. Storytime goers get to high five a robot during storytime. After-school students build marble runs out of strange cardboard packing pieces.

Does your library provide formal opportunities that involve making? If so, how often, and what do they look like?
At this time, we do not offer a dedicated making program at our library in-house. But, several of our school and community outreach events offer making opportunities. Students at a private school created stop motion movies. Students in several after-school programs created Rube Goldberg machines. This summer, our library staff will be presenting at a summer coding camp for Middle School girls through University of Idaho-Coeur d' Alene.

How did your "space" start?
Collaboration, creativity and critical thinking are large elements of the Maker movement and our library has incorporated them into programs and events for many years now. Beginning five years ago, our library had the opportunity to participate in the Idaho Commission for Libraries' Make It at the Library project. Through the training and mentoring offered by the Commission, we were able to solidify and focus our making activities and more intentionally incorporate them into programs for all ages. At this time we still do not have a dedicated space, but the concepts and activities of making are being used from storytimes all the way through our libraries’ outreaches to assisted living facilities.

Who participates in making at your library?
In addition to incorporating making into youth services programs, our adult services department is beginning to offer making opportunities as well. So, all ages.

20161222_135708.jpg     Rockets

How do you market your making opportunities?
Program specialists create promotion for their own events and are assisted by our Communication Director. Many of our youth services specialists and several of our adult program specialists have included maker activities in their programs. We promote our programs through social media, email lists, posters on local bulletin boards, and the library’s website

How do you fund them?
Grants through local organizations, state organizations and library budget.

What’s one (or two) maker related website(s) you find useful or inspiring?

Teen Librarian Toolbox,
Make Magazine,
LowTech making pinterest,

Do you have a program idea you’d be willing to share? Links to resources?
Challenge a group, or groups, to make a mark on a piece of paper in as many steps as possible. It’s like a mini Rube Goldberg machine. Here’s a post I wrote for SPLAT about it. Provide them with a variety of materials, like paper towel tubes, tape, straws, marbles, ping pong balls, rulers, and of course paper and pen. Give them a set period of time, and have everyone share their machine at the end.  

SPLAT FAIL! Version of this

What sorts of tools and supplies do you have for making?


Which of those are the 3 most popular?


What’s one piece of advice you’d share with other libraries looking to offer making opportunities?
Making is about problem solving, teamwork, collaboration, critical thinking, mentoring and the process of learning. One temptation is to think that having the coolest stuff or the newest tech makes for the best Makerspace. I’d suggest that the best Makerspace is one that improves the lives of those that walk through the door, and that could be done simply by spending the time to show someone how to fold a paper airplane.

Thank you Nick!
ILA Maker Committee Co-chairs, Deana & Jeff

Have questions or comments for Nick? Comment on this post, and/or reach him directly at

 #weekofmaking #nationofmakers 

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