I took the time to write up my notes from the conference I attended in January. There was a lot of stuff on Makerspaces and Libraries that were quite useful. However, I found that the sessions I attended that, on the surface seemed to have nothing to do with my situation, were the most useful. For example, Eileen Gillette’s presentation, Talk Creative to Me explored how the library space can be adapted/evolved/utilized as a cultural hub for the community. I loved the way she broke down the different components of “space.”

I also really enjoyed the presentation from the University of Rochester and their journey in creating the izone. I learned some valuable lessons on how to engage the community and get their feedback. I also loved the idea of the library as a place to incubate new ideas. Not a new idea, but definitely re-packaged to fit this emerging, entrepreneurial culture.

Although I gave links to the descriptions of the different presentations, I did not feel comfortable sharing the links to the speaker presentations. However, most are available through the links to the actual sessions. If you do go and have a look and see something you like, please be mindful that this was someone’s hard work and treat the materials given so freely appropriately!

The notes are pretty rough and in point form, but I thought I would share anyways!


Made in Canada: STEM Resources for Canadian Schools and Libraries


This session was geared mostly toward younger kids so not so interesting to me. Though it was interesting to hear about the process of writing a non-fiction book for children.

Collaboration, Partnerships, and Innovation — how to Integrate Maker Initiatives within school curriculum


Megan Copp and Melissa Harris, Innisfil Public Library

Marci Duncan, Technology Instructional resource Instructor K-12 Simcoe County District School board


Transforming learning spaces

Green screen teacher training workshops:


  • Do ink
  • No special lighting
  • F/X Photokey/imovie

Oculus rift- do I need to buy one? Should we make them?

# Makerspaces twitter

STEM for Dummies (because we’re not all scientists)


Gayle Mercurio (teacher-librarian), Toronto District School Board

Patricial LeBlond Teacher, Toronto District School Board


  • Know more about curriculum for display purposes
    • EG.:
      • Human anatomy
      • Iran
      • physics
      • Nouvelle France
      • STEAM Activities
      • Shakespeare
  • Mostly geared towards younger kids. However, some interesting things – sphero games in the library.
  • Need to start with playing

Keynote: David Lankes



  • Obligation of innovation
  • Libraries as:
    • Marketplace for ideas
    • connecting people with great ideas to networks → access to multitudes
    • Helping innovations get the resources they need. *How does this look like?


Basically librarian love and propaganda: a call to arms to get back into the world… that we should start becoming some of the political and cultural influencers.

Talk Creative to me: Understanding Your Library’s Capital

Speaker: Eileen Gillette, Greater Victoria Public Library


What Makes a Great Place? I really like the following visual in terms of breaking down a space:

It makes me wonder how a deconstruction of the ideal school library space would look like…I think I might work on it!

Question: Where are the “NO” spaces in my library?

  • Between shelves?

Rethink→ Reframe → Remodel→ Reinforce

Culture Hack Toolkit (How to create inspiring digital events)

Prototype Equipment Design

Check out GVPL Teen Digilab

Maker Habits of Mind in High School


Pam Jeffrey: Teacher-librarian, Simcoe County District School Board

Penny Chaiko: Teacher-librarian, Simcoe County District School Board


  • Green Screen Café: Where would you rather be? What time period would you rather be?
  • Maker Monday
  • Materials suggested:
    • M-bot
    • BB8
    • Lego mindstorm
  • Get a group of students to help with Makerspace
  • Knit bracelets (macramé) (USE FOR SOFT LAUNCH OF OUR MAKERSPACE!)
  • Student-driven
  • Funding:
    • Speak up grants (Ontario only)
    • Best Buy Grants

Olita Spotlight: Avery Swartz



Hosting a Maker Fair in your Library Learning Commons

Notes: (I want to do this!)

Maker Fair: “Celebration of transdisciplinary learning.”

Start planning 3-6 months in advance

Audience? Students and staff and invite grade 6s (potential recruits)

Exhibitors (some from outside, some from in-house) 20 exhibitors

  • local community
  • fellow staff
  • administration, organization
  • provide separate space for makers
  • consider a variety of making strategies


  • Develop a budget and timeline
  • Promotion:
    • Feeder schools!
    • Passport systems (stamped at each exhibitor..)
    • Connect with teachers, librarians & colleagues – have them sign up…
    • Classes come in like Book fair..
    • STEAM coach?
    • Ice Wire makerspace
    • SOMO by Sonic Wear
    • Textile Museum of Canada
    • origami society
    • Toronto tool library (3D printer)–COULD ASK HELIOS LABS?
    • Amy project
    • Teachers: brought class projects, + teachers

Post inquiry-based questions in Fair and post around the library.

  • eg. “What is the difference between making and manufacturing?”
  • eg. “Can making improve social conditions?”

Ask participants for feedback:

  • What was the last thing you made?
  • What was the last thing you bought? Why did you buy it and not make it?

The IL incubator: Exploring Information Literacy Skill Gaps in Secondary School Curricula and Postsecondary Research Expectations


Colleen Burgess

Gordana Vitez


This was an interesting discussion about the gap between secondary expectations and post-secondary expectations on students. It seems like a big part of the problem is that it is easy to forget that when you know how to do research, that it is a skill you have to learn.

I also came away with the impression that we at Traf are doing okay in this area. We address many of the issues below even in our science classes, which does not seem to be the case with a lot of schools apparently. Most of our teachers require students cite their sources, that they know where to look and have a variety of sources to contrast and compare the information.

Problem: students are not feeling prepared to go into post-secondary research

Gross & Latham → research on this issue:

  • 2005→ students don’t even know they have a problem
  • 2011 → found that studies focused on behaviour not skills
  • 2012→ students don’t know they don’t know

ALA Listserv ILI → info lit listserv


  • Citation & bib method
  • Difference between scholarly Vs. General reading
  • Difference between google and library database
  • Avoiding plagiarism
  • Ability to critically evaluate information in building their own arguments or ideas.

I found my dream job but it’s not in the library


June Avila, Hannah Loshak, Emily Porta


I went to this presentation because I have been finding lately that I need to go out of my own profession for inspiration with the new projects I would like to start. And I don’t think I am the only one- a lot of the presentations I attended were about adapting/customizing/re-creating the library space to accommodate the needs of young people aspiring to become creative cogs in the knowledge economy. This means taking inspiration from Start-ups mainly, with their innovative take on communal space, the flexible, collaborative, creative model of these new workplaces. I thought it was important to understand the perspective of librarians embedded so to speak in these new environments.

They also provide a new perspective on how to view, relate and serve our population. Because they are in the private sector, they necessarily have to be fiercely client-centered. user experience is prioritized and I think libraries can (and already are) learning huge lessons from this sector.

Secrets- Seven Authors Share their Collaborative Writing Project

Speakers: Teresa Toten, Eric Walters, Kelley Armstron, Vicki Grant, Marthe Jocelyn, Norah McClintock.


It’s 1964 and life is about to change for seven orphan girls. On their own for the first time in their lives, the girls each embark on a journey of discovery, aching for the families they never had and experiencing the world in ways they never imagined.

Bestselling authors Kelley Armstrong, Vicki Grant, Marthe Jocelyn, Kathy Kacer, Norah McClintock, Teresa Toten and Eric Walters team up for the Secrets, a brand new series of linked YA novels that will be published simultaneously. Each author brings their distinct style to this project and will discuss the process of writing collaboratively.

Visit http://www.readthesecrets.com for more information.

OLA Exhibition Hall

Interesting stuff I found:


izone: Imagination, Ideas, Innovation – Learning Space for the 21st century


Matthew Swift, Senior Strategist, brightspot strategy

Mary Anne Mavrinac, Vice Provost and Dean, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester


  • Ask students: What kind of space do you need?
  • “provide platform for exploration of ideas not actualization of ideas”
  • All 1 thing:
    • space planning
    • service design
    • organizational change

ASIDE: What is up with the word ‘robust? figured prominently in many of the presentations…

  1. Use madlibs as prompt for user surveys (WANT TO USE THIS!!!)
    • How do you use the space?
    • How would you like to use the space?
  2. Then: storyboarding → how those activities would look like?
  3. Prompt participants then have a conversation.
  • Portfolio of offerings:
    • Who wants to use the library?
    • Have a work meeting re: rethinking the library…
  • Pilots and prototypes:
    • Read throughs
    • walk throughs
    • dress rehearsals
    • Pilot
  • Not developing a space but a program → the space is enabling it.

Making Spaces for “Makerspaces” in your school library/Learning Commons


Sheila Morgan, Teacher Librarian, Kortright Hills Public School, Upper Grand District School Board

Carla Warnholtz, Teacher Librarian, Westwood Public School, Upper Grand District School Board


  • Rug! I need a rug!
  • Giant Paper Puzzles: eg. Giant Sudoku
  • Purchase materials and equipment  through Wintergreen
  • Google CS first
  • Implementing student inquiry…

Train home!

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