Remaking the Makerspace: Transformational Student Training
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In a library makerspace, student training can be less straightforward than traditional library environments. Students are required to be aware of a wide variety of tools, techniques, software, and patron interactions. Makerspace student worker training presents new challenges, but also opportunities. This presentation demonstrates a unique model of student training developed by staff at an academic library makerspace. When 10 new student workers were hired in fall 2021, there was a need to establish a program of training that allowed students to gain confidence and take ownership of their employment experience. Because learning makerspace technology can sometimes be an intimidating undertaking, staff sought a training program that gave students an achievable path towards mastering a wide range of equipment and skills. As most of the newly-hired individuals were first-year students, retaining their employment during their entire time at the university was highly desired. With all of this in mind, staff developed a training program that used aprons as a canvas to display physical representations of students’ skills. For each machine that students mastered, they added an element created on that machine to their aprons. We will present attendees with the tools to implement similar training models in their own makerspaces.
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