Egg Drop!

Target - Egg DropIt was one of the most popular Maker exhibits in 2013, and yes, it will make a repeat appearance in 2014.  We’re talking about the SciTech Egg Drop – where everyone gets a chance to toss something over the railing and watch it crash into the floor in Science & Technology 30 feet below.  And, library security guards are going to let you do it!

All participants will be issued a cardboard box and an uncooked egg.  We’ll have loads of packaging material for you to customize a padded case for your fragile cargo.  When you’re happy with what you have constructed, it’s Eggs Away! over the railing to the target.

Last year more than 100 eggs were dropped, and about 40 of them survived the fall.  Was your egg one?


Akron Beacon Journal Celebrates 175 Years

175CLR_vertKeeping Akronites informed  has been the Akron Beacon Journal‘s mission for 175 years. And they have been doing this an award-winning fashion.  In 2012 alone, the newspaper and its online affiliate earned more than 56 awards for journalism excellence for breaking news, feature writing, food writing, sports writing, columns, business reporting and more.

Tha Akron Mini Maker Faire is proud to have the Akron Beacon Journal as a media sponsor.  They’ll make sure you are kept informed on all the latest doings, including the dates for the Call for Makers (August 11 through September 12), where to order your FREE tickets (, or, and even the date and time of the actual event (Saturday, October 18, 11 am to 4 pm).

Thank you, Akron Beacon Journal.  Congratulations on your 175 years, and we wish you success for another 175 more.

How Can I be a Maker

Want to participate in the Akron Mini Maker Faire?  Not sure how to do that?  It’s easy – every interested Maker will need to fill out an online application during our Call for Makers August 11-September 12.  The application will be right here on this website, from a link near the search box in the upper right corner.  You’ll need to provide information like your name and address/phone/email, or course.  We’ll ask if you need internet access, your electricity requirements, and any radio frequencies your exhibit requires. Plus, you’ll need to tell us about your project – include links to any flickr or youtube visuals, your website or blog, any info you can provide which will convince us that your Maker project is cool/fun/inspiring/unique and that you are, too.

After the Call for Makers ends, on September 12, we’ll let you know if your application was successful. Pretty easy, huh?

The Akron Mini Maker Faire will run from 11 am until 4 pm on Saturday, October 18 at the Main Library of the Akron-Summit County Public Library system.  You’ll want to be sure you have the stamina to meet with Faire-goers for all 5 hours – but don’t worry, you can bring along some of your friends and family to keep you company and give you a chance to tour all the other great Maker exhibits yourself.

Looking for a great idea for your Akron Mini Maker Faire exhibit?  Take a look at these posts here and here.  Check out the reads on the Geek Gadgets for the Home Workshop  resource list created by Science & Technology librarians. You can also watch the video which the Akron Digital Media Center created for us from last year’s Faire.

Now, what are you going to Make?

Celebrate Akron

FireworksAkronWho saw the fabulous fireworks display at Lock 3 on the evening of July 4?What a great show, and what a beautiful evening to enjoy it.

Akron has lots of great things happening – we have makerspaces like this and this, an art museum, a super library system, the towpath trail for biking and hiking, a global business accelerator to grow technology manufacturing, Lock 3 for fun events summer and winter, and lots more.

What’s your favorite Akron feature or event? We hope the Akron Mini Maker Faire is on your list.  Makers can submit their application during our Call for Makers, which will run August 11-September 12, right from this website. Maker Faire goers can register on our Event Brite site so we know how many excited people to expect. And everyone can like us on Facebook.

Akron Mini Maker Faire: Register on EventBrite

EventBrite logoYou know you want to attend the Akron Mini Maker Faire on Saturday, October 18.  Now, you can make it official by registering with EventBrite. Yes, the Akron Mini Maker Faire, like all events produced by the Akron-Summit County Public Library, is free.  So, why would you want to register?  Can’t you just come to the Library and enjoy everything?

Of course you can.  But registering through EventBrite will allow us to guestimate just how many excited Mini Maker Faire-goers to expect.  We will have a better idea of the number of adults/kids/college students who are coming, and we can better plan our exhibits and activities to make sure there is something for everyone.

So, be a sport, and register on

White House Mini Maker Faire June 18

White HouseThe White House has announced the first-ever White House Mini Maker Faire for June 18.  In addition to the Makers at the White House, it is hoped June 18 will also be a national “Day of Making.”

The rise of the Maker Movement represents a huge opportunity for the United States, with new tools democratizing production and boosting innovation and entrepreneurship. Making  inspires us all to be more creative and motivates people of all ages to excel in design and STEM  (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).

To celebrate the Day of Making in Akron, we invite you to post what you think about the Maker movement: how can access to knowledge about Making and access to the tools of production spur the rebirth in manufacturing right here in Akron, Ohio?  What sorts of knowledge would you like to gain, or need to gain to be a better Maker?  What tools do you want access to?

Leave a reply below, and we will post them. While the form for comments asks for you name, you can just put in your first name, and your email will not appear with your comment even though it is required to submit a comment.

Akron Makers, Mark Your Calendars

ASCPLIt’s official – the Akron Mini Maker Faire will return to Main Library on Saturday, October 18. Bigger and better, this year’s Faire will run 11 am- 4 pm and will feature the Swenson’s food truck to keep Faire-goers fueled for the day. We’ll have speakers in the Auditorium, hands on activities for all ages, and local Makers from across the Making spectrum.

The Call for Makers will run August 11-September 12. We’ll even be able to accept a limited number of applications from commercial Makers who can rent exhibit space and sell their wares.

The question is, What will YOU make?

Art of Tinkering as Inspiration

Inspiration can come from anywhere, and, yes, since we are a public library, we are often inspired by the books which cross our paths.  One such book, The Art of Tinkering, is too good not to share.

CaptureProduced by San Francisco’s Exploratorium Museum, and its adjacent Tinkering Studio, The Art of Tinkering showcases the amazing creations of the artists exhibiting in that museum. Each Tinkerer gives details about how he or she tinkers, experiments, and finds inspiration.

But, better than just showing us these works, this book shows us how we can use the same tinkering techniques to create our own!

Chock full of inspiring ideas to get everyone Making. Even the cover of this book is printed with conductive ink: a battery, some LEDs and a bit of tape, and voila! we made it light up!14 - 1

Check out a copy of The Art of Tinkering today.

Looking for something to do this Thursday afternoon

We’ve found the perfect activity – the Kent Mini Maker Faire.  Kent State University is hosting a Mini Maker Faire in their University Library from noon to 4 pm this coming Thursday, April 24.

Admission is free, although they do ask you to register, so the organizers can have an idea of how many to expect.  You’ll get a chance to see what some KSU students have been doing as well as meet and visit with some local Makers, including Tiny Circuits.

If you’ve never attended a Mini Maker Faire, and even if you have, this sounds like a good way to spend the afternoon. forecasts partly cloudy and 65 degrees – good day to drive to Kent.



Printing in the Third Dimension

Additive manufacturing, or 3-d printing, has been getting lots of press for the past few years. It’s not particularly new technology, with patents granted for various 3-d printing methods more than a quarter century ago.  But, with the prices of these printers getting lower and lower, and the   software to control them becoming easier and easier to use, the time is right for for these devices to find a place in many homes, workshops, and public libraries.

View of the 3d Printer Farm

Scene of the 3D Printer Farm at the 2013 Akron Mini Maker Faire

The 3-d Printer “Farm” at last November’s Akron Mini Maker Faire featured 9 different 3-d printers, all going at once, demonstrating the many configurations available for these printers, and the variety of objects which can be made.

TechTuesday3Recently, Joanna Schofield, a children’s librarian at the Akron-Summit County Public Library, along with staff from the Library’s IT and Electronic Services division, demonstrated the Library’s MakerBot Replicator 3.  Judging by the enthusiasm from  the children, their parents, and the grownups who stopped by the program to see the printer in action, this device will be getting lots more exposure.

Electronic Services manager Larry Schaffner explaining how the 3D printer works

Electronic Services manager Larry Schaffner explaining how the 3D printer works


Childrens' Librarian JoAnna Schofield sharing with some young library visitors

Childrens’ Librarian JoAnna Schofield sharing with some young library visitors