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Modern Leonardos: Libraries and Museums as Maker Labs

U.S. Embassy to Italy & The American University of Rome

Thursday, May 23, 2013 from 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM (CEST)

Modern Leonardos: Libraries and Museums as Maker Labs

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The U.S. Embassy to Italy and the American University of Rome are happy  to host the 6th annual Spring Event, to be held Thursday May 23th in Rome at the Auditorium of the MAXXI Museum, via Guido Reni 4A. We invite you to attend a really exciting event where we will discuss about one of the most innovative trends taking place in libraries in the U.S. and worldwide.


Modern Leonardos: Libraries and Museums as Maker Labs – Spring Event 2013


will focus on maker spaces, fab labs and digital learning labs in libraries and museums.


According to the U.S. Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), “maker spaces are part of a growing movement of hands-on, mentor-led environments that encourage entrepreneurship and unleash the inner inventor in all of us” ( Susan Hildreth, Director, IMLS).  In the U.S. there is an explosion of interest in “Making” environments and, in the process of experimenting with this new phenomenon, libraries and museums are re-envisioning their potential to foster 21st century skills among their audiences.


The Maker movement aligns with President Obama’s Educate to Innovate initiative and his call to “think about new and creative ways to engage young people in science and engineering (and)… encourage young people to create and build and invent – to be makers of things, not just consumers of things.”

Museums and libraries that are embracing the Maker initiative include the Exploratorium (CA), the Carnegie Library (PA), the Westport Public Library (CT), the Fayetteville Free Library (NY), the Newark Museum (NJ), the Detroit Public Library (MI), the Chicago Public Library (YOUMedia) to name just a few. These Maker-type activities include digital studios, teen-focused technology toolkits, and mobile digital media labs. These spaces are designed to foster experimentation and creativity for youth in library- and museum-based, out-of-school-time settings.




NEIL GERSHENFELD, MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Center for Bits and Atoms:

Prof. Gershenfeld is the originator of the growing global network of fab labs that provide widespread access to prototype tools for personal fabrication. Author of numerous publications, featured in media such as The New York Times , The Economist and Foreign Affairs, he has been named one of Scientific American’s 50 leaders in science and technology, and one of 40 Modern-Day Leonardos by the U.S. Museum of Science and Industry. His famous Fab Lab is immensely popular among students at MIT, who crowd Gershenfeld's classeshttp://www.ted.com/speakers/neil_gershenfeld.html . 


KRISTIN FONTICHIARO, Michigan University: clinical assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Information and faculty founder of Michigan Makers. Named a 2012 Library JournalMover and Shaker. 




SUE CONSIDINE, Executive Director, Fayetteville Free Library:

Sue has been named a 2013 Library Journal Mover & Shaker and WCNY Women Who Make America awards.  The Fayetteville Free Library is the first U.S. library that created a maker-space: http://www.forbes.com/sites/tjmccue/2011/11/15/first-public-library-to-create-a-maker-space/.  



TOMAS DIEZ, Director of FabLab Barcelona (Spain) http://www.fablabbcn.org/

Tomas Diez is a Venezuela born Urbanist specialized in digital fabrication and its implications on the future cities models. He is one of the initiators of the Fab Lab Barcelona project, which he currently directs. He works as a close collaborator in the development of the Fab Lab Network worldwide with the Fab Foundation. He is co-founder of the Smart Citizen project and StudioP52 both in Barcelona, and currently the main consultant for the Barcelona city council for the development of the “Ateneus de Fabricació (Fab Labs)” in the city. 


KIM ROBLEDO-VEGA, Director for Innovation & Learning, Newark Museum, New Jersey (U.S.) http://www.newarkmuseum.org

JON SANTIAGOco-director of STEM2GETHER, Newark Museum, New Jersey (U.S.)

LEAH KRAUS,  Virtual Branch Director, Fayetteville Free Library (U.S.)

MARGARET PORTIER, Director of Innovative Family Services, Fayetteville Free Library  (U.S.)

SARAH LAWLER, FFL Support Team Member,  Fayetteville Free Library (U.S.) http://fflib.org/

SUE LAWSON, Service Development Coordinator, Mini Maker Space, Manchester City Council, City Library (UK) http://www.manchester.lib.nh.us/

MATTEO TANGI, SenseTour (Italy) http://europetour.makesense.org/



The event will be live-streamed on the Internet.

There will be a simultaneous translation service.

Lunch will be offered.  

No free parking in the area.  

Directions: http://www.fondazionemaxxi.it/visita-il-maxxi/informazioni/come-raggiungerci/



Have questions about Modern Leonardos: Libraries and Museums as Maker Labs? Contact U.S. Embassy to Italy & The American University of Rome

When & Where

Fondazione MAXXI www.fondazionemaxxi.it
4 Via Guido Reni
00196 Rome

Thursday, May 23, 2013 from 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM (CEST)

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