December 12, 2011
Submitted by Laura Alejandra Gonzalez:
Libraries Make Room For High-Tech ‘Hackerspaces’ : NPR
I’d like to make my own addition to this, Phil Torrone wrote a great article for Make about this same topic a few months ago. I’d love to see these types of tools being offered for everybody to use.
I propose we think about what role the public library can or should have. I’m really interested in what everyone thinks, so please post in the comments. I have more questions than answers, but my “gut” says we’re not going to see public libraries as the centers of learning state-to-state that they once were.
If the only public space where 3D printers, laser cutters, and learning electronics happens is in fee/memberships-based spaces (TechShops, hackerspaces), that will leave out a segment of the population, who will never have access. FabLabs often are geared towards under-served communities, so perhaps it will be a combination of FabLabs and hackerspaces.
What if we were to convert just 1% or even 10% of the 9,000 public libraries in the USA to TechShops? I say TechShop because I think they could get it done with the right amount of funding, or at least coordinate the effort. Since 1% of the USA’s public libraries is about 90, that’s close to the TechShop goal in 5 years; 10% would be 900 locations — not a bad goal.
October 31, 2011
I saw a short little blurb in today’s Metro (one of the trashier free newspapers) about a woman who is knitting clothing for the protesters at Wall Street. Knitting being a point of interest of the class, I figured I’d post a little about Marsha Spencer, known more simply as Marsha the Knitter.
Here is an “ireport” from CNN.com: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-692648
And there’s an interesting article on the website, newdomesticity.com, where the terms “craftivism” and “yarn bombing” are used: http://newdomesticity.com/?p=106
Marsha the Knitter is reportedly knittin’ stuff for the cold occupiers, which is some good old homespun DIY engagement. Perhaps if all were to knit, then the world would be a more comfortable place.
October 15, 2011
Below is an interesting article about a New York City Time Bank set up by Mayor Bloomberg that allows people to share their skills by the hour. This is to say that for every hour that you give, you get an hour in return. The site focuses on volunteerism but all skills are welcome.
Official Site: http://www.nycservice.org/
Article from nbcnewyork.com: http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/City-Launches-Time-Bank-for-NYers-to-Trade-Services–81218477.html
October 12, 2011
Ok, yes, I know, I know, I harp on how awesome the Makerbot is weekly. But for those who don’t quite understand what the big deal is, I have for you a video produced by Time magazine. They interview Bre Pettis, who does an amazing job at explaining exactly why this fits within the DIY ethos. If you watch this, I promise I’ll cool it on the ra-ra makerbot for a bit.
September 30, 2011
This morning I found a great (short) article by Phillip Torrone about the growing popularity of the making culture. I think it really drives home the benefits of making things and venues for education.
“Forget the cliché of a lone hobbyist tinkering away in the garage; modern makers are more likely to work with each other, taking advantage of the sharing and publishing tools offered by the internet.”