Thanks Nanowrimo!

wonthearitYou have my fellow colleagues and Nanowrimo to thank for this post, as I’m on a two-day streak here.  That inner voice will often attempt to persuade me to abandon my writing efforts… Shame on you Ms. Inner Voice!

In the spirit of Nanowrimo and for those who have no clue as to what Nanowrimo is, here goes…

National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo, usually held during the month of November, originated in the San Francisco Bay area in 1999.  During the month, writers from all over are encouraged to sign up to work towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by the end of the month.

Don’t even go there… I know, I know, this is a blog, not a novel… Well, who cares?!  The point is to get writing and guess what?!  She did that!  You like my 3rd person reference don’t ya?  Anyway, back to business here…IMG_1903

As I return to my discussion on developing a Makerspace, I came across another interesting read from ISTE by Laura Fleming, Worlds of Making, Best Practices for Establishing a Makerspace for Your School. In this best-selling work, Fleming begins with an introduction to the history of Makerspaces, beginning in the mid 1990’s, with the first Hackspaces in Germany, eventually spreading throughout the rest of Europe into North America in the early 2000s. During the early years, Makerspaces were also known as “Hackerspaces” or “Fablabs“, many of which can still be found today.

The FabLab Foundation describes the concept in this way, “A Fab Lab is a technical prototyping platform for innovation and invention, providing stimulus for local entrepreneurship. A Fab Lab is also a platform for learning and innovation: a place to play, to create, to learn, to mentor, to invent. To be a Fab Lab means connecting to a global community of learners, educators, technologists, researchers, makers and innovators- -a knowledge sharing network that spans 30 countries and 24 time zones. Because all Fab Labs share common tools and processes, the program is building a global network, a distributed laboratory for research and invention.”

It is with this in mind, I set about to create a space where students and adults, young and old, from diverse backgrounds, explore their creative talents, play, learn and share with one another.  I like to think of it as an incubator of sorts.  I’ve heard that “diversity = innovation”.  Such a space that hosts a broad and varied network can help level the playing field for underrepresented groups by providing access to knowledge, information and resources to improve one’s life and that of their community.  How fitting for libraries and public community gathering places to provide spaces like these for anyone to grow and better their quality of life.  Now how freaking cool is that?!

til next time,
– theberknologist has spoken

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The Berknologist Speaks by Dawn Berkeley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.  Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at

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