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UTA Libraries awarded grant to test maker literacies program

UTA Libraries awarded grant to test maker literacies program

Martin Wallace, Maker Literacies and Engineering Librarian at the University of Texas at Arlington Libraries, was awarded a $49,800 National Leadership Grant for Libraries from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Partners in the award are Gretchen Trkay and Katie Musick Peery of UTA Libraries, Tara Radniecky of University of Nevada-Reno, and Kathryn Pole, UTA. Wallace and his team will use the one-year grant to identify and collaborate with three pilot sites to test the effectiveness of early-stage maker-based competencies, previously developed by a UTA task force, on undergraduate learning.

Makerspaces are defined as a community-operated work space where people with common interests in computers, machines, technology, science, digital art and other areas, meet, socialize and collaborate on projects. By offering makerspaces and maker activities, academic libraries provide students with experiential learning opportunities that cut across subject areas and encourage collaboration, adaptability, and creativity; however, few practical tools exist for educators to measure student learning that results from making. Creating a set of maker-based competencies will help librarians and educators understand and assess the relevance of maker activities to academic learning goals.
“The goals for this planning grant are to identify three additional partners who will agree to integrate and pilot test our maker literacies program at their institutions and to conduct a pilot run of the program over the 2017-2018 academic year,” Wallace said. “Accomplishing these goals will allow us to refine our early-stage set of maker competencies and apply for an IMLS Project Grant that will further expand the Maker Literacies Program.”

National Leadership Grants for Libraries support projects that address challenges faced by the library and archive fields and that have the potential to advance library and archival practice with new tools, research findings, models, services, or alliances that can be widely replicated. More than $23 million was requested, and $5,479,503 was awarded for 25 projects. 

“This grant will support the development of competencies that can influence relationships between academic libraries and departments across the country,” Rebecca Bichel, dean of UTA Libraries, said. “We are pleased that IMLS supports UTA’s efforts and we look forward to working with the University of Nevada-Reno and our other partners on this significant and far-reaching project.”

“As centers of learning and catalysts of community change, libraries and museums connect people with programs, services, collections, information, and new ideas in the arts, sciences, and humanities. They serve as vital spaces where people can connect with each other,” said IMLS Director Kathryn K. Matthew. “IMLS is proud to support their work through our grant making as they inform and inspire all in their communities.”

UTA Libraries’ makerspace, the UTA FabLab, opened in 2014 and has been a leader in connecting maker services to campus needs. UTA was the first school in the University of Texas System to offer students open access to 3-D printing. In 2016, the UTA FabLab expanded from 825 square feet to 8,000 square feet to accommodate larger classes and more equipment. Today, the UTA FabLab is a robust learning laboratory offering a combination of manual and digital fabrication technologies such as laser cutters, screen printing, 3-D printing, and woodworking equipment.

About IMLS

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is celebrating its 20th Anniversary. IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Its mission has been to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. For the past 20 years, its grant making, policy development, and research has helped libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible

For more information, Contact:
Martin Wallace
Four outlet power unit. "We've got the power"
We’ve got the power

We’ve got the power

Are you having trouble finding a spot to recharge yourself and your devices? We’ve got you covered. Introducing our 8-Outlet/4-USB surge protection power strips now available for checkout for up to four hours—at all three branches. We guarantee you’ll be one of the more popular people in the library if you decide to share your power. Now you’ve got the power.

For more information, Contact:
General Ramey with Roswell debris
New website on Roswell UFO incident of 1947

New website on Roswell UFO incident of 1947

The UTA Libraries Special Collections Division has partnered with researchers Kevin Randle, David Rudiak, Simon Schollum, and Jerry Morelock to document and disseminate photographic assets held by the Libraries related to the Roswell UFO incident of 1947. At the time, the object in question, said to be a weather balloon, was flown to the Fort Worth Army Air Field where reporters saw and photographed the material.

The UTA Libraries currently holds photographs and negatives from the incident as part of the large Fort Worth Star-Telegram collection that chronicles the history of Fort Worth and West Texas.

Visit the website:


For more information, Contact:
Special Collections
Portrait of UTA Business GRA Jonathan Le
FabLab student worker gains valuable real-world experience

FabLab student worker gains valuable real-world experience

by Jonathon Le, FabLab GRA

I started coming to the UTA Library to learn how to use Photoshop, at the time it was only available in the DMS. It was great to have access to both the software and knowledgeable staff to expand what I could accomplish in Photoshop. I was able to apply what I had learned at the DMS into making t-shirts for various organizations around UTA.

When DMS went, and FabLab arrived I found a lot of the new equipment quite alluring. As someone that loves to work with wood and really anything around arts & crafts, the laser cutter was my new favorite toy. With a lot of practice, I was able to create complex objects with joints that required little to no glue.

After hanging around there long enough, I became a student staff member in the fall of 2015. One of the things that I hated doing as a patron of the FabLab was filling out those pesky use forms, as a student staff member I vowed to change all of that. In the Spring of 2016, we rolled out the first version of FabApp with the help of Michael Doran, UTA Systems Librarian. FabApp is our system to track equipment usage, organize 3D printing, and thereby eliminating the pain point of the use forms. Over the following year we made modifications to print receipts, track inventory, and add a waiting queue.

This year, I am in the process of releasing a new version of this software that will add five new functions to aid the day to day management of our space. These new functions will be developed by three CSE teams that I will be mentoring this semester. I have received a tremendous amount of professional and personal work experience both as a patron and a staff member of the Library. I look forward to being able to give back to this community that has done so much for me.

Over the summer of 2016, I spent time designing in CAD software, rapid prototyping, and building the one of the first projects in the Aquarium of the FabLab. That project, Screeny McScreen Press, now sits waiting for any patron of the FabLab to print their very own poster or t-shirt, look out for workshops!

Over the next year, I hope to be able to deploy FabApp at schools and maker-spaces across the country. In addition to that, I'll be crafting many new additions to the FabLab (screen cabinet, light exposure unit, display cabinet, acetone vapor chamber, a stand for a sheet metal brake press, a rock feature that doubles as a water filtration system, and a Master in Business Analytics).

Nominated 2016 Outstanding Library Student
14 Years to Complete Bachelor (never give, up never surrender)

Torn paper with the word "Copyright" printed on it
LISTSERV for copyright or fair use questions

LISTSERV for copyright or fair use questions

If you have questions regarding copyright and fair use, contact our listserv at LIBRARY-SC@LISTSSERV.UTA.EDU.

For more information, Contact:
UTA Libraries, Scholarly Communications Department