Making in Libraries and Museums

Bubbler @ Madison Public Libraries: A system-wide approach to learning through making. Co-PIs Erica Halverson and Dr. Rebekah Willett (UW-Madison), in collaboration with Madison Public Library (MPL), conducted a two-year study of makerspaces and learning across the MPL system. We studied how MPL is building a production-oriented approach to literacy and learning through their maker-focused program, the “Bubbler”. This project directly addresses IMLS strategic Goal 1: “plac[ing] the learner at the center and support[ing] engaging experiences in libraries and museums that prepare people to be full participants in their local communities and our global society.” Our proposal identifies the needs of audiences at the national and local level. On the national level, our project speaks to LIS and educational research communities, LIS professionals, members of informal learning institutions, and organizers of designed makerspaces. At the local level, it addresses underserved populations inthe Madison area and MPL in evaluating and developing the Bubbler. Erica continues to partner with the Bubbler, working on their “Making spaces” initiative with Madison Public Schools and on an assessment tool for teachers.

BAM @ Betty Brinn Children’s Museum. The Learning in the Making Lab partners with the Be A Makerspace (BAM) at the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum on a range of projects including a large-scale field test of a music maker program and the Teacher Studio, a professional development program for teachers interested in making.