by Renee Neumeier | Young Adult Librarian Supervisor
Evanston Public Library (epl.org) is very pumped to be returning as a Maker Corps Host Site in 2014! Once again the library will be hosting two Maker Corps members. Evanston Public Library is located in the diverse community of Evanston, Illinois. The library has one main branch downtown and two smaller branches on the north and south sides of town. The main branch of the library is very fortunate to be the home of the Loft (epl.org/teens), a space especially designed for teens in grades 6-12. The Loft provides computers, couches, study rooms, hang out space, tons of programs and of course books and other materials for teens.
In 2013 library staff and our two Maker Corps members had a wonderful and inspiring summer offering a wide range of hands-on Maker programs to youth of all ages at all of the library’s branches. The majority of the programs were aimed at teens in grades 6-12, but programs were also developed for younger kids and their families. Library staff and our awesome Maker Corps members, Ruth and Grace developed programs ranging from creating your own video game using Scratch and Makey Makeys, creating handmade jewelry, playing with squishy circuits, to constructing artbots and more.
In 2014 we’re really excited to take part in the Maker Corps training camp, interact with other host sites and gain inspiration from both and from each other when planning our array of summer programs. While our Maker Corps members help with deciding the content of most of the Maker programs we offer throughout the summer, EPL staff has a few ideas already. For the first time ever we’ll be offering a three week paper and book making camp for teens. Teens will be learning everything paper and book related from making paper, to binding their own hardcover book and creating content to go inside. This camp will be funded through a generous Making the Future grant from Cognizant. We’re also planning a biweekly film making workshop for teens. Each session teens will learn different elements of film making including storyboarding and editing. The end goal of these workshops is creating a film to submit to the national 90 Second Newbery contest (http://jameskennedy.com/90-second-newbery/ ) .
Maker Corps members who are posted at EPL will be assisting with further developing our existing Maker programs for teens. They will receive training on how to plan and lead new Maker programs for teens, kids and families. After training our Maker Corps members are allowed to take the lead in facilitating the Maker programs we offer to the community. Evanston Public Library wants encourage the youth who come their programs to be creative, expand their hobbies and meet new friends with similar interests. We hope that youth will develop new passions through their explorations and experiences at our programs that might develop college and career paths for them to follow.
Maker Ed is just as pumped to welcome Evanston Public Library back as a Maker Corps Host Site for 2014. Applications for all Maker Corps Members will open Monday, February 3, and close on March 21. Click here for more information, and to apply. – Nancy