LA Makerspace is the primary provider of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) education to the Los Angeles Public Library system. We aid in transforming the library into an innovation hub, where learning skills and creativity is just as central as the traditional forms of information libraries have made accessible to the public.
To do so, we create and provide professional development workshops to librarians in STEAM skill areas such as robotics, electronics, coding, and stop motion animation. Librarians then co-teach multi-session courses to the patrons at their home branch, led by an LA Makerspace instructor. They work off a LAM-created curriculum designed to leverage the particular strengths of librarians, which they use to teach the workshop independently in a Maker pedagogy style.
This is our core program at this time, and is serving to pilot train-the-trainer interventions we can then offer to other organizations that work with underserved populations, such as after-school programs, shelters, and housing projects.
In our first year of operations, we have trained 160 librarians in subject areas like coding, robotics, and Minecraft. Librarians in the program have so far launched their own workshops at 21 branches, impacting hundreds of kids.