University of Texas at Arlington Libraries is leading a team comprised of six library makerspaces across the country in a pilot study to investigate the effectiveness of early-stage maker-based competencies in undergraduate learning, stemming from work developed by a UTA Libraries task force. The Maker Competencies and the Undergraduate Curriculum project is funded by a $49,800 National Leadership Grant from The Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Martin Wallace, Maker Literacies and Engineering Librarian at UTA Libraries, leads the research team, which also includes Gretchen Trkay, Katie Musick Peery, and Morgan Chivers of UTA Libraries. The team traveled to several university library makerspaces across the country, ultimately selecting five of them to join the study.
“It was a lengthy process, and a hard choice given the amazing selection of academic library makerspaces that we had to consider,” Wallace said. “Each of which had some unique quality that made them stand out from the others.”
The selected partners include Kelly Delaney at Carnegie Mellon University’s IDeATe, Sarah Hutton at UMass Amherst Libraries’ Digital Media Lab, Danianne Mizzy at UNC Chapel Hill’s Kenan Science Library and Amy Vecchione, at Boise State University Library’s Maker Lab. Tara Radniecki at University of Nevada, Reno’s DeLaMare Library Makerspace, has been a partner since the beginning; she helped write the grant proposal and participated in the partnership selection process.
“We here at UTA are so very excited to begin working with our partners,” Wallace said, “and we look forward to collecting the data and feedback that will allow us to further refine and scale this program.”