Bubbler @ Madison Public Libraries
Makerspaces are flourishing in libraries nationwide. One example is The Bubbler at the Madison Public Library, which offers hands-on instruction the basics of animation, screen printing, music, clothing design, dance and painting.
Workshops introduce participants to a variety of local experts who share their talents and physical resources.
Activities also include lectures, demonstrations, performances, and make-and-take workshops in all nine library branches and at partner locations around the city.
This two-year project seeks to identify the role of the maker movement in libraries, how makerspaces function as communities of practice, and how making shapes individual identities. For example, how do people become makers and identify as makers, and how do their identities as learners change as they engage in making and makerspaces?
Educators need to understand not just the activities (the making), but also the surrounding communities of practice.
This research identifies the needs of audiences at the national and local level. On the national level, this work speaks to Library and Information Science (LIS) and education research communities, LIS professionals, members of informal learning institutions and organizers of designed makerspaces.
At the local level, it addresses underserved populations in Madison, Wisconsin and helps MPL evaluate and develop the Bubbler.