The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Archive: 02/08/2019

The UMass Amherst Libraries, along with the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) and the University of Nevada-Reno, were recently awarded a $241,845 National Leadership Project Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to fund the development of an immersion program to train faculty and instructors on how to integrate the use of makerspaces, dedicated spaces with technological resources and equipment for project-based collaboration, into their courses.

The impetus for designing such a program comes from the results of a previous IMLS grant-funded pilot study entitled “Maker Literacies and the Undergraduate Curriculum,” which explored the impacts of academic library makerspaces on undergraduate student learning. The UMass Amherst Libraries were chosen by UTA and the University of Nevada-Reno as one of four additional university partners to participate in that study because of the Libraries’ Digital Media Lab (DML), a cross-disciplinary makerspace in the W. E. B. Du Bois Library open to all UMass Amherst students, faculty, and staff, regardless of major or department.

The results of the pilot study demonstrated that academic makerspace instructors need training and support in order to collaborate successfully with faculty on designing makerspace lesson plans and assessing maker literacies. Developing the immersion program and making it openly accessible online would fill this need at both a community and national level with the potential to be built on and scaled as new makerspace practices emerge.

“This grant gives us resources to take what we learned about maker literacies and develop a curriculum for educators,” says Sarah Hutton, head of Student Success and Engagement for the Libraries. “We’re building a community of maker-educators across a wide spectrum that can continue to learn from and engage with each other.”

Wednesday, Oct. 30
6 p.m.

Campus Center Auditorium

 

Please RSVP by Oct. 14.

From the secretive strategic heart of the U.S. military, Daniel Ellsberg emerged as one of themost widely recognized figures of the Nixon era when he photocopied and distributed thousands of pages of classified reports on the Vietnam War. exposing the deep-seated deceit on the part of U.S. administrations regarding the war, the Pentagon Papers were a major component of the Watergate scandal and resulted in a high stakes prosecution against Ellsberg that ended in a dramatic mistrial in 1972. Undaunted, Ellsberg has toiled as an activist ever since, speaking out against war and nuclear weaponry, and defending the cause of whistleblowers and freedom of the press.

Daniel Ellsberg will speak at the Friends of the Libraries' 21st Annual Fall Reception at UMass Amherst.

Photo credit: Tony Spina.