The Makerspace Team

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The NCSU Libraries’ Makerspace program has come a long way from its early days as a converted storage closet at the Hunt Library. A new, larger Makerspace opened this summer at the D. H. Hill Library. As most of you know, Adam Rogers, Emerging Technology Services Librarian (User Experience), deserves a great deal of the credit for the success of our Makerspace program. Adam’s work was recognized when Library Journal named him a Mover & Shaker in the “Community Builders” category . But there is also a whole team working with Adam, helping the Makerspace come to life. Here is a look at Team Makerspace:

Bret Davidson, Digital Technologies Development Librarian (Digital Library Initiatives) helped develop the user access system for the new D. H. Hill Makerspace. His “Ruby on Rails” application provides the backend for a unique card access tool that makes sure patrons entering the space have received the proper safety training to use the equipment.

Amanda Davis worked on Makerspace projects last summer as part of her ARL Career Enhancement Program fellowship. She helped staff the space and introduce it to new users when we first opened in June.  She also wrote a report on how to integrate the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy into our approach to the Makerspace and teaching maker skills.


Lauren Di Monte, NCSU Libraries Fellow (User Experience, Personnel Services) joined the Makerspace team in July for her Fellow’s initiative, “Launching and Sustaining the D. H. Hill Library Makerspace.” Lauren has made incredible contributions to the space: working with faculty and teaching course-specific workshops (e.g. in Textiles, Digital Humanities), leading outreach and events, providing one-on-one support for student projects, and pushing the Hill Makerspace in some exciting new directions (CNC milling, robotics). With support from colleagues in DLI and External Relations, Lauren also launched a successful social media campaign to showcase the Makerspace and our users’ projects: #NCSU Makes .

Leia Droll, Executive Director of Development, has helped the Makerspace raise funds to cover equipment and supplies, and to ensure the space has the resources it will need to remain on the cutting edge. The Makerspace has received over $50,000 in grants and donations.


Jessica Handloff is the Makerspace’s CRDM Graduate Research Assistant, joining us from the Ph.D. program in Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media. She has enriched the Makerspace with excellently designed learning resources, supported students and faculty in learning the processes and tools of making in innovative ways, and identified great opportunities for collaboration with her CRDM cohort and its faculty.

Dan Hawkins, University Library Technician (User Experience), succeeded Colin Nickels as the Hunt Library Makerspace’s day-to-day manager. Dan has embraced his new role with enthusiasm, quickly moving from beginner to pro in 3D printing, laser cutting, and 3D scanning. He very effectively supports our talented student workers and has become our in-house expert on 3D scanning, often seeking out off-campus training opportunities.

Mara Mathews, University Library Technician (User Experience), brought her experience from graduate work at the College of Design to select sewing machines and supplies for the D. H. Hill Library Makerspace. Mara has begun a workshop series to introduce new users to sewing, and has provided one-on-one consultations on sewing for students as well.

Josephine McRobbie, NCSU Libraries Fellow (Collection Management, Research & Information Services), collaborated with the Makerspace as part of her involvement in the Diversity Committee. She helped write and submit a University Diversity Mini-Grant proposal aimed at funding a gender equity initiative for the Makerspace program. When it wasn’t funded, Josephine took the lead on an event, “D-I-WISE,” which partnered with the NCSU’s Women in Science and Engineering program to get students working with electronic textiles. A wonderful group of women attended for a fantastic event, and the collaboration continues with multiple upcoming WISE events this year.

Colin Nickels, University Library Technician (formerly User Experience and RIS, now in his first year as a graduate student at UNC SILS), helped Adam and David run the Hunt Library Makerspace in its first year, troubleshooting 3D printers, communicating with vendors, hiring and supervising student employees, and getting new services off the ground. In 2015, Colin helped launch the Makerspace at the D. H. Hill Library.

Brendan O’Connell, NCSU Libraries Fellow (and now Instructional Technology Librarian at Smith College Libraries), brought electronics and circuits to the Makerspace and to our Technology Lending program. Brendan also established relationships with faculty who craft assignments using maker techniques and tools. Brendan developed NC State’s Maker Map, a simple and powerful way to show the many makerspaces on campus and the roles that each play in a 21st century education--see go.ncsu.edu/makermap .

Erik Olson, Technology Support Specialist (User Experience), spends most of his days coding and designing as a member of the User Experience Web Team. When Erik showed an interest in, and aptitude with, the laser cutter, he found himself with a fun side duty running it for student and faculty projects. Erik also developed our Raspberry Pi-based digital signage for the Makerspace: "I'm a tinkerer by nature so contributing to the Makerspace means I get to play at work!"

Jack Twiddy joined the team as a University Library Technician in August. He joins us from UNC-Chapel Hill, where he recently graduated with a degree in Art & Philosophy. While at UNC, Jack worked with student maker groups to offer workshops and successfully advocate for a campus makerspace. He now keeps the Makerspace operating into evening, helps oversee our student workers, and is actively researching new materials and methods for 3D printing.

David Woodbury, associate head of User Experience, has been there every step of the way, from the early dreaming stages, making the case to include a makerspace, somehow, some way, at a late stage in the planning for the Hunt Library (hence the conversion of a 4th floor storage closet). He has tested 3D printers, figured out how to price our services, and has been integral in planning and launching the D. H. Hill Library Makerspace.

Our student workers do amazing work in both Makerspaces, keeping them up and running and enriching them with projects of their own design. They bring expertise, empathy, and enthusiasm, and our spaces could not survive without them.