Makerspace Collaboration between the Baylor University Libraries and the Maker’s Edge

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2019-07-19

Authors

Chan-Park, Christina
Telep, Andrew
Vaidhyanathan, Vedana

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Abstract

In Fall 2018, the Baylor University Libraries entered into a collaboration with a local makerspace: Maker's Edge. This collaboration was coincident with the opening of Baylor's makerspace which repurposed a 12' x 16' storage room in the library basement and is part of Techpoint, which offers audio and video booths in addition to laptop and technology checkout. Because of space and staffing limitations, Baylor needed a solution to offer training and more tools and services than digital fabrication. Maker's Edge is a community makerspace in Waco located approximately 2 miles from the library. They opened in 2015 and offer a wood shop, metal shop, hot work area, computer lab, digital fabrication, fine arts studio, and textile lab in addition to the basic shop. Maker's Edge offers basic safety training and scaffolded training for each of these areas. Through an agreement with Maker's Edge, the libraries pay for 2-week passes to Maker's Edge for Baylor affiliates. After completing the two basic training classes at Maker's Edge, which has been approved by Baylor's risk management, Baylor affiliates can continue with more training at Maker's Edge to use the equipment there or take the introductory Digital Fabrication classes to use the equipment at Baylor Libraries. There is a limit of four, 2-week passes a Baylor affiliate can use per semester. In Spring 2019, the College of Engineering and Computer Science began a pilot program for students working on their senior design projects through the Libraries' collaboration with Maker's Edge. After completing training at Maker's Edge, students gain access not only to college lab spaces, but also the Maker's Edge and the library. The college plans to expand this program to all engineering freshmen in Fall 2020. In this presentation, we will share about the Baylor science librarians' experiences completing the six classes at Maker's Edge required for the engineering students and recommended for using the library's makerspace. We will also provide more details on the costs of the collaboration and present data on users and usage. We will comment on the pros and cons of program and discuss the future directions.

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