University of Texas at Arlington

Report from 2016 LITA Forum in Fort Worth

Thinking Beyond the Stacks

Report from 2016 LITA Forum in Fort Worth

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On Saturday, November 19th, Morgan Chivers and I presented to the 2016 Library Information Technology Association (LITA) Forum in Fort Worth!

Morgan and I want to thank LITA for accepting our proposal to present at their conference. Our session was very well attended and gave us a platform to talk about our vision of "Maker Literacies" and outline the UTA Libraries Maker Literacies Task Force's efforts to create a Maker Literacies Program at UT Arlington. Our presentation covered the goals of the Task Force, the work we've done so far, lessons learned, challenges faced, and plans for the future. We also touched on our IMLS National Library Leadership Grant proposal to partner with and expand our program to other universities. We will not hear back about that until April 2017, but we are already putting feelers out for potential partners in expectation of being awarded the grant.

After our session, I was fortunate to be approached by Sara Wright, Head, User Services & Engagement at the Albert R. Mann Library, Cornell University. Sara was presenting a poster about using Design Thinking to inform the creation of their makerspace (an image of their poster is below). Sara thanked us for our presentation and voiced her desire for Cornell to be considered as a project partner, should we receive the IMLS grant. Of course I’ve added her name to our list! I for one would love to have Cornell attached to this grant; should we receive the award, we will go through a formal partners selection process and we’ll have to wait and see who makes the cut.

Cornell Design Thinking Poster

Feel free to contact me if you have any follow-up questions about our presentation or any of the work we're doing around Maker Literacies. If anyone out there reading this is from another university with a makerspace in your library, and would want us to consider you for an IMLS project partner, please let me know!

written by Martin Wallace, martin.wallace@uta.edu

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