Accessible Making: Learning from our Patrons and our Peers
Saturday, January 28, 2023
3:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Location: Morial Convention Center, Ideas Xchange Area 1 (LLX Marketplace, Hall J)
Do you have a makerspace in your library? Do you offer "making" activities for your patrons? Are you hoping to create a dedicated makerspace or offer more "making" services and activities? If any of these situations apply to you and your library, please join this session for an engaging discussion about how we can make sure makerspaces are accessible for, and inclusive of, all of our patrons - including those with disabilities. Makerspaces are a trend that continue to grow in popularity, and what was once a novel service is now commonly found in public, academic, and school libraries. However, such spaces have not always, or even often, been designed with attention to accessibility. This leaves out a wide swath of the population – current estimates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggest that 1 in 4 adults in the U.S. have some type of disability. Recent research conducted with adult library patrons with disabilities has revealed the ways in which they use makerspaces, and the ways in which they have experienced or perceived barriers in accessing and using makerspaces and making activities. In this session, research conducted with adult patrons with various disabilities will be shared, and attendees will be encouraged to share their own successes, as well as help one another troubleshoot potential access barriers. Disability is multifaceted, and one person's experiences are not representative of all. As such, multiple viewpoints will be shared to give a broad picture of how disability might manifest in a makerspace.
Identify what patrons with disabilities value in a makerspace, and at least 3 areas in which they might experience barriers.
Describe to administrators and other stakeholders the importance of inclusion and accessible services in library makerspaces.
Incorporate at least 1 new practice into their own makerspace to provide a more inclusive environment.