Northeast Ohio Regional Library System - Event Information - Northeast Ohio Regional Library System

Event Name:
Virtual 2020 Emerging Technology Symposium: We Built It - Why Don't they Come?

Emerging Technologies

Register below for all of the Symposium events including the Keynote presentation, "Don't Panic! WE are going to MAKE it," multiple live webinars, and virtual poster sessions - all scheduled throughout the month of September. 


You may register for individual events by clicking on individual links below. 

This year’s Symposium will focus on examining the barriers that prevent widespread and sustained use of the makerspace together with a variety of solutions.   Don't miss this FREE, virtual, month-long celebration of making, makerspaces and community engagement.

Keynote:  Don't Panic! WE are going to MAKE it
Janet Hollingsworth, Adam Watts and Zack Weaver, 2019 Library Journal Movers & Shakers, from BLDG 61, Boulder Public Library, will kick off the symposium talking about their space and how they designed their environment, their programming, their partnerships and their staff training.  They will also talk about the inclusive opportunities they have created for a variety of communities that libraries haven’t always engaged. 

BLDG 61 is the Boulder Public Library’s all-ages free community workshop that provides maker education and technology to the public in a creative and inclusive environment.  Since it’s opening in February of 2016, BLDG 61 and a team of 5 “Creative Technologists” have engaged with over 250,000 people through their home space in Colorado, outreach to the surrounding region, national and international speaking engagements and hands on workshops.  They are champions of equitable access for learning everything from spinning and weaving fibers, to fine woodwork, to state-of-the-art electronics and digital fabrication. And they’ve done all of this at no cost to their patrons. How?!  Find out in this opening conversation with Adam Watts, Janet Hollingsworth and Zack Weaver, three of the people behind one of Boulder Public Library’s biggest success stories.  The three will discuss their experiences, failures and successes on topics such as, what it was like to create, open and program BLDG 61,  how programs can implement a community's diverse perspectives and foster accessibility, how to form mutually beneficial partnerships, how to foster a perspective of purposeful making, how to promote technological literacy and what does it take to be a Creative Technologist.  They will also address the library makerspace’s role as a critical resource for economic recovery and social equalizer in particularly challenging times. The presentation will include an open Q&A and the trio will close the day’s events with a virtual Happy Hour to connect more deeply with the audience.


Janet Hollingsworth is a structural engineer, woodworker, and maker educator. She and Adam Watts co-founded BLDG 61, the all-ages makerspace at the Boulder Public Library in 2016 and added Zack Weaver to the team shortly thereafter. As a creative technologist, she curated and facilitated a variety of maker programs at BLDG 61, serving over 25,000 patrons annually. She also developed special apprenticeship programs for underrepresented youth, the blind/VI community, and individuals experiencing homelessness. She helped establish the Colorado Sewing Rebellion, supporting community activism through fiber arts; co-developed Space Camp, a program for educators and students to build, launch, track and retrieve high-altitude balloon packages to the edge-of-space to collect environmental data; and initiated paid internships for teens through the Build a Better Book project, creating multi-modal picture books for blind children using maker technologies.
She recently transitioned to director of innovation and making at the Washington Leadership Academy, a public charter school in Washington DC with a focus on computer science, maker education, and social justice.

Adam Watts is a Creative Technologist and one of the grant writers responsible for the establishment of BLDG 61.  He is also a professional illustrator, heavy metal bassist, and award winning tabletop game designer. He has worked in libraries for the past sixteen years, beginning in shelving and then holding various roles in circulation, reference, childrens, web development, and IT management. Last year, his team was honored amongst Library Journal's 2019 Movers and Shakers. He is an unrepentant geek and creature of the night.    
Twitter & Instagram:  atomicwatts

Zack Weaver is a Maker Educator and Creative Technologist at BLDG 61 and an instructor at Colorado University’s ATLAS Institute.  His path to libraries was inspired by increasingly accessible tools, materials and processes for making and a passion for showing learners of all types and all ages their inherent creative potential.  This path included teaching hands-on project-based design classes publicly and privately at the STAMPS School of Art and Design at the University of Michigan and CODE Lab at Carnegie Mellon School of Architecture.  When joining the BLDG 61 team and Boulder Public Library in 2017, he knew he had finally found an equitable place to share the radical power of making with individuals and communities. 

The  Virtual 2020 Emerging Technology Symposium will include the following featured events throughout the month of September.  

Intentionally Making Space: Programming Towards Inclusion
Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 10 am

In 2015, the North Carolina State University Libraries cut a ribbon and threw open its doors to a new cool-looking, tool-filled Makerspace. It didn’t take long, however, for staff to notice that the space wasn’t being used by a diverse cross section of students. Framed by some techniques and concepts from feminist pedagogy and social emotional learning, Marian Fragola will discuss how the Libraries created the Making Space series to confront bias and systemic barriers to inclusion in its Makerspace and gaming offerings. Attendees of this session should come prepared to engage with each other and discuss (and even challenge!) the ideas and concepts presented.

Presenter:  Marian Fragola is the Director of Program Planning and Outreach at the NC State University Libraries, where she develops and manages a diverse suite of multidisciplinary programs and activities that benefit the campus and broader community. In 2018 she received a Movers and Shakers award from Library Journal. Fragola is immediate past board chair of the North Carolina Humanities Council and lives in Durham, NC.

From Consumer to Creator: STEM and Makerspace Initiatives for Growth
Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at 10 am

So you have a makerspace - now what? Attendees will hear about some of the changes and challenges the Fayetteville Free Library Fab Lab (the first public library makerspace in the country) has experienced throughout the years. Additionally, we will discuss the ways the Fab Lab has worked to keep up with the evolving maker movement, while also staying relevant and reflective of its community’s needs and skill sets. We will also explore various opportunities for strengthening and growing your community member use and participation in your makerspace. Attendees will have the opportunity to brainstorm some locally relevant ideas and possible partnerships to help strengthen and grow your maker programs and makerspaces.  

Presenter:  Michael Cimino is the Director of STEAM and Making at the Fayetteville Free Library (FFL). He received his MSED in Literacy from SUNY Cortland in 2011 and worked as a secondary educator before joining the Fayetteville Free Library in the summer of 2013. Michael's primary responsibilities at the FFL are facilitating STEAM and Making program creation and execution. Michael also works to build relationships with members of the community who are interested in enhancing the use and accessibility of our makerspaces.

Developing a Maker Mindset: No Makerspace Required
Thursday, September 24, 2020 at 10 am

Is your makerspace garnering the interest you first thought it would? Are you struggling to create programming that stems beyond crafting? Let me guide you through techniques to empower your patrons by encouraging them to develop a Maker Mindset: a combination of processes that include the Maker Empowerment Theory and the Stanford Design process to retrain our thought processes to recognize that learning begins at failure (not ends there), that we live in a designed world, and that we are able to change it through making. We’ll discuss sample programming, techniques, and challenges. No funding in the budget for 3D printers? Not necessary! Come see how to help your patron hold what’s in their mind in the palm of their hand sans printer. A takeaway for every level of interest!

Presenter:  Amy Zell,  Digital Instructor, Goodwill Industries, Youngstown and former Teen and Patron Technologies Assistant at Hubbard Public Library.
Amy is a self proclaimed Maker after learning that she, too, has the wherewithal and resources to change the world through making, Amy Zell is using her Final Project through Kent State University's M.L.I.S.  program to take this opportunity to inspire and instill the same passion in librarians that the Pittsburgh Fab Institute instilled in her.

Keeping Your MakerSpace Momentum
Friday, September 25, 2020 at 10 am

You've created your library's MakerSpace, now how do you build a consistent user-base? And how do you do it when people cannot access that space for a while? We'll share how we built and kept MakerSpace momentum by establishing well-attended classes and fostering community support and partnerships. 
Learning Objectives:

  • How to build and keep a local MakerSpace community
  • Creative ideas for virtual and in-person programming around the equipment in your MakerSpace
  • Tools and resources to make virtual programming effective while your MakerSpace is closed

Missy Littell is the Customer Experience Manager at the Cuyahoga Falls Library. With over 20 years of experience in public libraries, she is a MakerSpace creator and advocate and offers training to staff and patrons on how to use and make the most of MakerSpace equipment. Connecting people to resources and tech that enriches lives is her passion. 

Carolanne Tkach is the Guiding Ohio Online Tech Assistant at the Cuyahoga Falls Library and has been working in the MakerSpace field for over 12 years.  She trains staff and patrons, brings new technology to the library and is a maker enthusiast. Carolanne loves to create those "aha" moments for people in one-on-one trainings and classes.

Your Makerspace Why 
Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at 2 pm

Let’s examine how to design makerspace programming to engage your patrons. We’ll focus on purposeful making, community voice, and inclusive practices. The presenter will also discuss her MakerCare initiative, a maker program empowering patrons to make a difference through creating service based projects. Takeaways include how to build community partnerships and numerous project ideas from simple low cost items to 3-D technology.     

Presenter:  Gina Seymour, author and national speaker, is the library media specialist at Islip High School on Long Island (NY). Gina was named to Library Journal’s Movers & Shakers (2017) list as a “Change Agent,” named a 2019 AASL Social Media Superstar Finalist in the category of Social Justice Defender and was awarded the Suffolk School Library Media Association’s School Librarian of the Year in 2014. She is author of Makers with a Cause: Creative Service Projects for Library Youth (2018),  a chapter on inclusive makerspaces in School Library Makerspaces in Action and is currently working on a book on how to cultivate social action in the library.  Gina shares her work, musings and reflections on her blog and on Twitter @ginaseymour.

Poster Session:  Tech Together: Building Bug Robots 
Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 10 am

Tech Together is a series of technology programs created for families and designed to engage both adults and children together. This session will focus on the successful creation and implementation of a bug robot building program, challenges we overcame, as well as some tips and tricks for you.  

Presenter:  Niccole Paytosh is a Library Associate at the South Lorain Branch of the Lorain Public Library System. She has spent the last five years working closely with families and youth of all ages. Her passion is creating family programming that enriches the lives of her patrons with creativity, innovation, and fun.  

Poster Session:  Making Gone Virtual 
Friday, September 18, 2020 at 10 am

How to execute the Maker Mindset Method in making programs via Zoom for makers of all ages and how to keep everyone engaged. Kits or no kits, desktop access or phone, we will address it all. From successful Family Makerspace Storytimes to 3D design/print glider races gone wild, complete access to what worked and what didn't. 

Presenter:  Amy Zell,  Digital Instructor, Goodwill Industries, Youngstown and former Teen and Patron Technologies Assistant at Hubbard Public Library.

Creating Your Own Reality
Wednesday, September 23, 2020 at 2 pm

We took a planned in-person Teen program on creating AR & VR and turned it into a virtual program where we demonstrated how to create your own reality using apps on a mobile device. We'll share the tools we used to create and present this fun program as well as some of the pitfalls we ran into. Seriously, who wouldn't want to escape to another reality right now? 


Virginia Wright has been with the Tuscarawas County Public Library for 22 years, first as a Reference Assistant and currently as the Emerging Technology Associate for the five-location system. Virginia holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from Purdue University. The two things she likes best about her job are that she gets to play with new technologies and to also help others gain confidence to learn something new. When not at the library she enjoys motorcycle rides with her husband, taking Caribbean vacations (pre-pandemic), and spending time with her grandchildren (not necessarily in that order).  

Courtney Wallace is a Public Service Associate at the Tuscarawas County Public Library, focusing on teen programming. Courtney earned a bachelor's degree in environmental science with a minor in earth science from Moravian College.  Prior to her current position, she worked for five years as a math and science teacher. She will be celebrating four years with TCPL this November

Poster Session: Putting the TEAM in STEAM Week
Monday, September 28, 2020 at 2 pm

What do you do when your annual STEAM Week is thrown into a pandemic? At Westlake Porter Public Library, you work as a team! See how we were able to pull off a virtual and socially distanced STEAM Week on short notice, and still had fun!

Jamie Dinan is the Early Learning Specialist at Westlake Porter Public Library.  Her work days are filled with sharing stories and songs with children of all ages - the sillier the better!  

Jenny Norton is the STEAM Librarian at Westlake Porter Public Library, where she creates programs in science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math, and also helps patrons with technology usage and reference. She earned her M.L.I.S. from Kent State University.

Carla Schober is the Adult Services Manager of the Westlake Porter Public library. Previously she worked for the Cuyahoga County Public Library, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library, and the Chicago Public Library. She graduated from Kent State University with her M.L.I.S. in 2006.

Brenda Zyrkowski is the Web Librarian at Westlake Porter Public Library where she has filled a variety of roles over 20+ years, including Administrative Associate and Integrated Library System Specialist. She earned an M.L.I.S. from Kent State University in 2007.

Poster Session:  WebEx, Teams, and Zoom, Oh My!  Let's Try Remo!
Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at 10 am

Virtual events and programs have become an integral part of library services and outreach as of late. Many are using platforms like Zoom, WebEx, and Teams to provide these services for their staff and patrons, but these are often not as robust as we might like, lack the “event” feel and leave us missing that in-person connection. Learn about a new virtual event software that helps to provide some of the features you would normally get in-person, from sitting together at tables, networking with each other, watching a keynote or panel, and more.  You will have an opportunity to tour this platform and network with your peers in this simulated “virtual” conference poster session. Sign-in 10 minutes early to set up your network profile account.


Holly Klingler, Research and Innovation Coordinator, NEO-RLS

Poster Session:  Ana-Tour-Me: 3D Modeling's Use in Individualising Anatomy Education in the 21st Century
Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 10 am
In this session, Dr. Regula will do a walk through of a virtual anatomy program for instructional purposes that fit all learning levels, and follow up with a tutorial of an anatomical database to construct individualized study tools including 3D images and models. 

Presenter:  Dr. Regula is an instructor of Human Anatomy at the University of Dayton. He has taught upper level anatomy using novel technology and pedagogy for six years and recently published an anatomy lab manual specifically designed to be intersectional and inclusive to all students. He prides himself on bringing critical thinking, accuracy, and intersectionality into a discipline that has often been treated as rote memorization in the past. When not challenging students in the classroom, Dr. Regula enjoys 3D print designing, games, and being outdoors with his husband and son. 

Event Date:
9/3/2020 - 9/30/2020

Event Time:
Each session has its own date and time

Online via Zoom

Contact Person:
Holly Klingler
(phone: 3306550531)

Who Should Attend:  Anyone interested in Makerspaces 

Competency:  Emerging Technologies; Programming, Community Awareness

Cost:  FREE

Can't attend on the date or time listed? Sign up anyway! All of our webinars include archive access for later viewing at your convenience.
This event is supported by the State Library of Ohio with federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

It’s never too late to save your library money. NEO-RLS Memberships are pro-rated! Call us today to join.