Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Bubbler: We're Popping Up Everywhere!

Did you know the Bubbler is a lot more than just a maker "space" at Madison's Central Library? While we love our home base at Central on the ground floor with its easily cleanable rubber floors and awesome birds eye view of the children's section, there are 8 other libraries in Madison! And we wanted to take our awesome making opportunities to every one of them. 

Making Maker Corps mobile was one of our goals from the start. Luckily, we had some awesome expertise to fall back on. The fabulous youth services librarians at Madison have been making storytimes mobile for years. Every season, the children's librarians work together to build kits full of books, rhymes & songs, puppets, and activities. These kits travel through the library delivery system just like a book coming from Verona or Sun Prairie would travel to your home library when you put it on hold. Put a book on hold now and try not to imagine it riding alongside a bucket of woodland animal puppets.... it will make you smile every time. These kits travel to all the different libraries, but also to places like Olbrich Gardens, the Henry Vilas Zoo, Allied Dr. MSRC learning center, or even Capital Brewery. 

We wanted the same thing for our Maker Kits. The ability to do pop up making everywhere and give these opportunities to explore and create to as many people in Madison as possible. We saw an awesome example of mobile making this week when Ife travelled with our Screen Printing kit. 

The regulars hard at work at Goodman. 

She started her week at the Goodman South Library. Being there every Tuesday morning, she is cultivating some dear relationships with the library's regular patrons. "I walked in Tuesday morning and was cheerfully greeted by a running Naviyah, who proceeded to help me set up the community room for our screen printing session. We were shortly thereafter joined by another regular, Preslie and her grandma (who I have endearingly begun calling “Grandma”)." Setting up in the open community room, Ife and her patrons can spread out, chat, and spend time together. It also has let her host larger groups like kiddos from the Taylor St. Boys and Girls club than just setting up in the library space.

But at Sequoya, we love being right in the thick of things, setting up our mobile maker space right in the heart of the children's area. In this bustling library, we love snagging the attention of the passer by. With a large area right at the entrance to the children's area (usually used as homework space... but it's summer!), we have set up everything from sock monsters, to makeymakeys, to screen printing. Introducing patrons to new challenges and providing chances to experiment and explore. We love that the Bubbler is changing the perception of what happens every day in the library.

Or outside the library... we did say we're popping up everywhere! Taking advantage of the beautiful day on Thursday, we set up screen printing on the sidewalk outside the Alicia Ashman library. The response was awesome. The pictures capture it all. Something about art creation appeals to all ages and wakes up our often muted creative sides. What a great way to finish the week!

Mothers, daughters, and sons..

 Old and new... 

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