Funding for Programs
One of the primary obstacles of creating Maker programs, or actually any program, is having the funds to carry it out. Even with Maker programs, everyone wants to have the high cost equipment and presenters, but you don’t need that to have a successful program. Do the shoe string stuff and start small.
Low Cost/ No Cost Programs
Many of my most successful programs were carried out because I asked the staff to donate their garbage to our cause. Recyclable crafts are not only great for the environment but also great for the budget too! Everyone has an overabundance of items in the house. Just make sure that they know exactly what you're going to be doing with their items. One of my favorite crafts ever is the taxidermied stuff animals. We cut off the heads of the stuffed animals and hot glued them to the covers of our discarded books. However, some people may not want you to dissect their beloved stuffed puppy because it held so many fond memories, so be sure to tell them what's going on. We don't want any unnecessary tears.
I have gotten boxes of ribbon, Legos, miscellaneous craft supplies and toys off of these free websites.
Groups on Facebook
- Many towns have groups on Facebook dedicated to getting rid of the items they don’t need. Although I am not a mom, I belong to a mother’s group that posts the items that they no longer have use for to the group to claim. They know I am not a parent, but it doesn’t faze them at all. They are very supportive of the library and our commitment to serving the community.
The people who work, volunteer or visit the library are the perfect people to help you out. These are the people who want to assist us in any way they can, whether it be monetarily, volunteering or donating goods to our services. This is the perfect way to collaborate with these groups to form partnerships and to create a sense of ownership over the Maker movement. And remember, everyone has a talent that you may not know about hidden from the library self. Utilize what’s in front of you. You may have someone who owns a 3d printer, or who can turn broken electronics into a robot. All you have to do is spark up a conversation with them.
- Friends of the Library
- Library Association
- Blog run by Stephanie Gerding & Pam MacKellar the authors of Winning Grants: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians with Multimedia Tutorials and Grant Development Tools has up to date information on all sorts of grants that your library can put in for.
- Best Buy
- ALA, YALSA, Library Link J
Teen Services Coordinator
Ocean County Library System
732-349-6200 ext 5201
pcondello [at] theoceancountylibrary.org