I want to follow up on this while the meeting is fresh in my mind. Our meeting touched on three main items:
The plan I detailed here:
To this point,@laura_rogers framed this idea well as being intended to foster a culture of skill sharing at the space, with the goal of mobilizing volunteers as a starting place for that culture. We want to:
- increase the visibility of volunteers as people who can offer informal advice and discussion for projects
- create more opportunities for volunteers to level up their knowledge
- help volunteers move into being able to become checkout trainers.
To accomplish this, we’re going to ask shift leaders to work toward encouraging and helping people develop their own skills. We also proposed a training “boot camp” to coincide with a membership drive so that volunteers can be trained to give checkouts with actual potential members. And third, we want volunteers interested in developing their skills to collaborate on projects around the space, so that these can act as ways to become familiar and comfortable with tools.
I want to note that there was a real and valid concern that, as we train checkout leaders we want to avoid the “telephone” problems–we don’t want information about how to use the tools to be diluted through repeat training. To avoid this, area managers will set their standards for who can be a checkout trainer.
- The possibility of holding less classes with a less formal form
We want to create opportunities for people to share skills and knowledge that might not fit in a more formal class. With our classes, I want to aim for something that is sustainable, meaning that its something that could be taught a few times a trimester for potentially a longer time. However, people have proposed ideas that I think would be an interesting workshop, but might not make a full class. To that end, we have proposed two possibilities going forward:
A first Fridays event–this would be an event where people would pay to come to the space for a sort of “Trust Us” class. The event would focus on simple, crafty kinds of projects and would be an inexpensive way for people to come to LMN with the idea that they wouldn’t know what it might entail, but we guarantee something cool and fun.
Makerspace Office Hours–@cafwood and @Clifford_Bohm had the idea that we could hold office hours once or twice a trimester. During this, we would open the space to the public and the area managers would be present in their areas to help people learn a key concept or talk through their expertise on something. This would act as a community building event.
- Class proposals in general.
We touched briefly on these. Mostly to address the question of what makes a class proposal work. The main takeaway was to reiterate that the proposals aren’t meant as a hoop-jumping exercise, but to help first time teachers articulate what they will do and to make sure the classes fit together in a clear way.
That was basically all we discussed.
Please feel free to add to this, anyone who was at the meeting. I’m also happy to discuss this with people and to continue developing these ideas as we continue. And I want to thank everyone who was at the meeting today for your time and thoughts.