Build a Better Book – Adding Meaning to Making in Libraries
Are you looking to bring meaning and real-world applications to your makerspace programming? Learn about the Build a Better Book project and how you can use this model to develop programming that empowers youth to use the low and high tech makerspace tools to create or adapt books and games for visually impaired children. Learn how to engage youth in empathy-driven, immersive activities while learning how to use Design Thinking to create a project that can be used by library users who are Blind/Low Vision (BLV). Participants will engage in empathy building activities that they can bring back to their libraries. Learn how adding meaning by providing the opportunity to support people with disabilities provides a strong motivation for middle and high school youth to participate while increasing their own self-confidence and developing their creative problem solving skills while learning about accessibility and universal design.
Laura B. KuchmayAdult Services Director, Middletown Free Library
Laura Kuchmay is the Adult Services Director at the Middletown Free Library. During her thirteen years working there she has developed a vast variety of adult and multigenerational programs and services including Genealogy, Arts and Crafts workshops, Hiking and Nature programs, and STEM workshops For the last five years she has also worked as a Teaching Artist for The Creative Living Room; developing and running after-school and summer camps for elementary aged kids. She is also a Girl Scout Leader for Troop 5336.
Mary GazdikDirector, Chester County Library Center & Hankin Branch
Mary Gazdik has over 25 years of experience providing library services to the community. She is the Director of the Chester County Library Center in Exton, PA. Mary first became interested in makerspaces in libraries when she became Director of the Middletown Free Library in Media, PA. She founded the library’s makerspace, CreateSpace@MFL in 2013, to provide hands-on creative learning experiences to the community. She has published two books on maker learning in libraries and is a frequent speaker at conferences and Maker Faires. Mary is active in the maker community and was part of the team that brought the first Mini Maker Faire to Philadelphia. She has received two Best Practices Awards from the Pennsylvania Library Association’s Youth Services Division for her Minecraft in Real Life Club and with co-presenter Laura Kuchmay for the TechniGals Summer STEAM Camp.