Each month we are going to highlight one of our Measure U partners.
With only five volunteers and two staff, the Mammoth Lakes Library Makerspace (MS) serves thousands of participants, of any age and background, with the opportunity to explore new and emerging arts, science, and technology experiences by engaging in a variety of self-led or group-driven creative projects – free of cost.
To the delight of many, the MakerSpace program has been in full swing all summer with in-person programming. However, only a short time ago, this wasn’t the case. Just as this program was hitting its stride, COVID caused the Mammoth Lakes Library to shift MakerSpace programming to virtual or ‘to-go kit’ options. The MakerSpace team pivoted to create free to-go kits at the rate of 1 or 2 themes per month -and continue to do so.
To date, they’ve created 734 free kits! Some of the “kits” themes have been scavenger hunts, God’s Eye crafts and easy Gingerbread plushies. The MakerSpace team also created three kits that coordinated with the Summer Reading program (clay creatures, masks and summer stories), and seven themed ‘activity zines’ (“Nature Exploring” zines on trees, bird sounds and animal tracks).
Last summer when outdoor in-person programs resumed, the MakerSpace team leveraged support from the Mammoth Library Friends of the Library Foundation to create an outdoor “MakerSpace Learning Garden” to showcase around 20 varieties of local plants, located in the outdoor space west of the Library. The MakerSpace team worked with Eastern Sierra Land Trust to get it “Pollinator Certified” and hosted outdoor programs, bringing in over 40 participants.
As winter brought everyone back indoors, the MakerSpace team continued to innovate, this time creating the new ‘MakerSpace Collection’ with circulating activity kits to make and keep. The MakerSpace Collection circulation kits give participants opportunities such as watercolor painting with a paint kit and paper, or needle craft with fabric and an embroidery kit, or an origami book complete with origami paper. With the support of a dedicated volunteer, the MakerSpace team also launched a weekly drop-in “sewing machine time” specifically aimed at adults who want to learn to use a sewing machine or have clothing they want to repair. Multiple adults come in to use the sewing machines to repair clothing & camping gear, giving them a cost-effective way to solve a problem and support responsible re-use of garments rather than contribute to landfills.
To further highlight the amazing ability of this team to adapt programming and continue offering the MakerSpace program through pandemic closures, in a rural environment, the MakerSpace team is applying to participate with an Institute of Museum and Library Services grant awarded to “The New Faces of Makerspaces” group intended to study how library maker programs shifted and innovated during the pandemic.
Learn more about the Mammoth Lakes Library MakerSpace program or sign up to volunteer!
Stop by the library and enjoy these great offerings!
MakerSpace drop-in hours are:
- Tuesdays & Wednesdays: 2:15 -5p (all ages)
- 2nd & 4th Saturdays: 11a -2p (all ages)
- Thursdays: 12:30 -3p (adults only)