“Make It at the Library” project expands to schools

Gena Marker, a teacher librarian at Centennial High School, joined 24 other Idaho librarians on Monday to learn how to operate, maintain and troubleshoot 3D printers. The Idaho Commission for Libraries is in its third year of the “Make It at the Library” project. This year Centennial High School and Heritage Middle School were selected to participate in a pilot program focused on school libraries.

Gena Marker
Gena Marker

“Make It at the Library” is designed to support the creation of Makerspaces in Idaho libraries and encourage the delivery of library services to digital users “where they live.” The Commission provides necessary materials and training to implement creative, STEM-based programming for teens. The project encourages the use of new technologies and tools.

“Having a 3D printer at a school library will benefit students because it will give them the opportunity to develop 3D design skills,” Marker said. “Having this program at the school is going to open so many doors especially in the STEM field.”

The commission is providing participating libraries with STEM manipulative kits and materials, customized curriculum, technical support and evaluation and assessment tools.

“We really feel it is important to engage our youth in libraries during out-of-school time. The typical 18-year-old has spent about 18.5 percent of waking hours in a formal education environment by the age of 18,” said Erica Compton, a project coordinator at the Idaho Commission for Libraries. “It is important for our libraries to be community hubs where people can go to actively engage in their own learning.”

Marker works with nearly 1,700 students and is excited that the project will benefit everyone on campus – even if they aren’t enrolled in a STEM class.

“The program and the printers will help students develop critical thinking skills and will teach students how to use the latest technology,” Marker said.

Participating in the project this year

  • Caldwell Public Library
  • Bear Lake County Library
  • Burley Public Library
  • DeMary Memorial Library
  • Marshall Public Library
  • North Bingham County District Library
  • Payette Public Library
  • Shoshone Public Library
  • Centennial High School Library
  • Heritage Middle School Library

 Past participants

  • Ada Community Library
  • Community Library Network
  • Gooding Public Library
  • Meridian District Library
  • Snake River School Community Library
  • Aberdeen District Library
  • Buhl Public Library
  • East Bonner County District Library
  • Jerome Public Library
  • Portneuf District Library
  • Twin Falls Public Library

The project is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.