DIY Clubs in the Library Makerspace

Spotlight on the Duxbury Free Library

January 30, 2014

If you haven’t heard of DIY.org, you should definitely check it out. Think virtual scout badges for a community of makers and learners. Last year, littleBits launched our own skill page,  fondly named “Bitster,” where users can submit their projects and earn badges in 13 electronic challenges.

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While online communities are a great way to connect (and we love sharing what you create on our project page), we often get questions from littleBits fans about how to meet up and collaborate with other enthusiasts in their area. Which got us thinking- are there physical DIY Clubs that are currently using littleBits in their projects?

Turns out there definitely are! After a bit of investigation and a few ‘wow, what a small world’ moments, we connected with Ellen Snoeyenbos and Jessica LaMarre from the Duxbury Free Library (DFL) in Massachusetts. Not only do they run a weekly DIY Club, but they are huge littleBits fans and are expanding their module collection to enhance their popular library makerspace.

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Ellen (pictured above) is the Young Adult/Reference Librarian and Jessica is the Children’s Librarian. Together they run a blog which is chock full of resources and recaps of their experiences in the library makerspace. The participants in their community afterschool programs love creating large structures, stomp rockets and combining littleBits with Legos and other building materials. The littleBits are provided as an open-ended activity and recent creations have included a flash light, a weed whacker and an alien detector device.

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Jessica was the one who discovered littleBits and has recently brought her Kits to Librarian Round Tables in the area, as well as the annual MA Library System meeting in November 2013. They love using the modules to introduce the relationship between power, input, and output, and enjoy the expandable, easy-to-use and no mess nature of the product. For club facilitators and librarians who are new to littleBits, Ellen and Jessica suggest making time for the kids to explore the modules and having some design templates on hand to spark immediate making success. 

Future plans for DFL include hosting a booth at the Cape Cod Maker Faire on April 26th, creating a Cardboard Carnival this summer and adding a littleBits Bar (inspired by Laura Fleming) in the adult library section. We look forward to seeing more projects and programs from DFL this year!

Want to get involved in programs like this near you? Check out the locator map on the DIY page or start your own club! Use littleBits in your challenges to start making something great!

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