LITA Forum 2014
I was fortunate to attend my very first LITA conference last week. LITA is the Library and Information Technology Association that educates members in the library field on leading edge technology. This year’s conference was held at the Albuquerque Hotel in Old Town Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The keynote speaker, Dr. AnnMarie Thomas, provided the perfect enthusiasm to the opening of the LITA conference. Dr. Thomas is an engineering professor at the University of St. Thomas, and believes in hands-on education and utilizes play in her teaching. She believes that if you allow yourself to play, you get lost in the process of learning. If you are laughing, you will work harder. Dr. Thomas asked her audience if they were Makers. As a few reluctant hands were raised, she identified that all of us are Makers. Makers make things, whether they are crafting, baking, or creating electricity with soft play dough. Dr. Thomas said, “This is the time of the big Maker Movement. Anyone can be a Maker, just jump in and try!”
Dr. Thomas believes there are personality traits that great Makers such as Bill Gates and author Paul Rink had when they were children. Makers are curious, Makers are playful, Makers are willing to take risks, Makers are resourceful, Makers are persistent, Makers share their knowledge, and Makers are optimistic. She stated that we need to keep Makers, Makers. Children start out as Makers, but many lose their curiosity as they grow older.
Dr. Thomas’ advice to aspiring Makers: Focus on learning new things. Be open to being silly. Be willing to let others know you don’t know how to do something. Be willing to make mistakes and learn from them. Create something that adds value for other people. Play!
Dr. AnnMarie Thomas is the author of “Making Makers: Kids, Tools, and the Future of Innovation” (2014).