MARS Committee Reports

RUSA MARS Hot Topics in Electronic Reference Discussion Group
What: RUSA MARS Hot Topics Discussion Forum – Libraries & Makerspaces: What’s the connection?
When: Sunday, June 29, 1:00-2:30 PM
Where: Convention Center Exhibit Hall, Meeting Room C

Have you heard about makerspaces but still have questions about how they fit into the work of libraries? Are you interested in makerspaces, but unsure how to get started? Well this discussion forum is for you! Come learn what you need to take your library to the next level.

Join RUSA MARS Hot Topics as they welcome two speakers to discuss the link between makerspaces and libraries and how you can get started with a makerspace in your library.

The session will start with a discussion by Rudy Leon (the University of Nevada, Reno) on the connection between makerspace and libraries and how your current space may already have elements of a makerspace. Rosemary Arneson (University of Mary Washington, Fredricksburg, Virginia) will discuss how a storage space in the library was converted to create ThinkLab. She will share how the space has been incorporated into courses such as Makerbots and Mashups and also discuss the technologies currently in the space.

This ninety-minute session will include a discussion and Q&A, so be sure to bring your questions! By the end of the program, you’ll feel confident understanding the role of makerspaces in libraries and take away some ideas on how to start your own.

More about our speakers:

  • Rudy Leon joined the University of Nevada Knowledge Center in March of 2012. Her liaison areas are Communication Studies, Political Science, and Gender, Race & Identity. She is also the coordinator of Burning Inquiry (a celebration of researchers at UNR investigating aspects of the Burning Man Festival), and the advisor to the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center Undergraduate Student Committee.
  • Rosemary Arneson is the University Librarian at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA. She launched the UMW ThinkLab makerspace in September 2012, and she works closely with the Freshman Seminar, Makerbots and Mashups, that meets in the space. She continues to develop her own maker skills, particularly in the area of e-textiles and wearable technologies.

Chanitra Bishop, Chair 2013-2014

RUSA MARS Best Free Reference Websites
The RUSA MARS Best Free Reference Websites committee conducts virtual communication among members. Although on year-round lookout for outstanding sites, our busy times take place in February, March, and April as the committee participants focus on posting, evaluating, and voting on the many websites each member has chosen as favorites. After closely examining and evaluating the forty-eight websites initially submitted, the committee members voted for those we considered to be the best. The list for 2014 contains fourteen websites that have received this distinction.

Janice Wilson, Chair 2013-2014