Category Archives: Technology


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I earned all these badges, dagnabit.

Up until a few months ago, I was very bored by the whole idea of issuing badges for completing certain tasks, obtaining new skills, or just doing something in general. Foursquare was the first badge system that I had participated in and, quite frankly, I could’ve cared less about earning new badges.

Enter Mozilla.


This summer, I worked on some projects with Mozilla, specifically HIVE Chattanooga and the Mozilla Community Gigabit Fund. We helped out with the HIVE NYC Maker Party in the Bronx, NYC, threw our own Maker Party in Chattanooga, TN, and even dabbled around with Webmaker a bit for our Summer Program at the Chattanooga Public Library. All in all, it was an exciting summer filled with great collaboration and great work.

And every once in awhile when some work was completed, I would get an email from Mozilla saying “you earned this badge”. The image you see above shows the badges that I earned over the past few months, and dagnabit, I’m proud of those badges. They look awesome and they share that I’ve been a part of something pretty cool.

Now my outlook on badges has changed. I’m most curious about exploring Mozilla’s Open Badges and how we can use them at the Chattanooga Public Library for not only programs but also volunteers.  Just imagine the kids, tweens, and teens earning badges for being part of their local library. Take that to the next level and you can issue badges for your teen volunteers when they complete certain tasks around the library. When they’re applying for colleges or jobs, they can share those badges to show off the skills they have. Here at the 2nd Floor of the Chattanooga Public Library our teen volunteers have become our unofficial “3D Printing Gurus”. They walk the patrons that are curious about 3D printing through the process from beginning to end.

Now just imagine if we gave them a badge to show how they’ve learned this particular skill. That’s some next level awesome library stuff we’re talking about here!



Awesomeness in the Children’s area of THE 2ND FLOOR

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I’m gonna brag for a moment: our kids area of THE 2ND FLOOR of The Chattanooga Public Library is totally rocking all things library.  We’ve been making quite a few changes over the past few months….our area for ages 0-7 and their caregivers is now home to all of our picture books, there is LOTS of open space to relax and enjoy the library together, and there are now creative stations all around.  Everyone on the 2nd Floor staff are pitching in on the development of the creative stations and the community using the library are enjoying these stations SO VERY MUCH.

Here’s one that really caught my eye that was made by Olga, who works primarily in our kid’s area and runs our Thursday BABY BOUNCE program on THE 2ND FLOOR. This amazing creative station was built by her. It teaches kids the basics of automation. The awesome part? IT IS SO MUCH FUN. It’s a great hands on thing that anyone that comes into the library can use and learn about automation through fun.


The 2nd Floor Commercial

There are so many awesome people who visit The 2nd Floor.  One of those awesome people that I’ve been lucky to meet during my time here in Chattanooga is the awesome Zachary Cross.

I asked him if he’d be interested in making a commercial for The 2nd Floor after I saw some of the awesome work he whipped up at one of our MAKEANOOGA TEENS events back in late 2013.

Check out more of Zachary’s video work here

Thanks for the awesome commercial Zachary!

Thank You Wisconsin Winter Web Conference!

575380_584031804990366_921861033_nI am honored to  be presenting with my co-worker Nate Hill at the Wild Wisconsin Winter Web Conference today at 1pm CST.  We’ll be talking about the following:

From Testing to Deployment: Moving Technology from the 4th Floor to the 2nd Floor

New and emerging technologies, trends, and services should and can encompass several areas in your library. Hill transformed a 4th floor storage area into a vibrant beta space, while Hoenke transformed the youth services floor. This tag-team webinar will talk about the informal and formal processes and synergies between the two floors. They’ll discuss high-tech: 3D printing and vinyl cutting as well as low tech: button makers, crafts, and the Awesome Bear.

Follow along the conversation at #WWWC14 on Twitter!

Keynote: Marigold Library System May 2014

MarigoldKeynoteI am extremely happy to announce that I am heading up to Strathmore, Alberta, Canada to give the keynote address for the 2014 Marigold Library System Members Workshop.  I’ll be presenting on teens, community, and makerspaces in the library.

Thank you to the Marigold Library System for asking me to be part of their program.  I am honored and SUPER excited to visit Strathmore!  This is my first keynote ever…I am excited to move into this new chapter.

The 3 D’s of 3D Printing (Version 1.0)

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Megan Emery teaches a group of tweens and teens about 3D printing on The 2nd Floor of the Chattanooga Public Library

Over the past month, we’ve been working on a 3D printing program for the 2nd Floor called the 3 D’S of 3D PRINTING

The idea came out of brainstorming session between myself and Megan Emery.  While we were super excited to offer 3D printing to our tweens and teens, it got to be a lot less fun and more of a 3D printing factory.  We wanted to capture the excitement of the 3D printer, give it some guidlines, and help streamline the process.  What came out of the brainstorming session was this:

To introduce tweens, and teens to 3D Printing, they must go through three steps:


  • Tweens and Teens will use to locate an item they wish to 3D print.
  • Tweens and Teens will download the STL file.
  • Tweens and Teens will load the STL file into Makerware, resize the object, and make the object into an X3G file to be 3D printed.
  • 3D printed in 20 minutes or less


  • Using, Tweens and Teens will create a basic design that can be printed in 30 minutes.
  • Tweens and Teens will download the STL file.
  • Tweens and Teens will load the STL file into Makerware, resize the object, and make the object into an X3G file to be 3D printed.


  • • Using or, Tweens and Teens will create and/or download a object and have the object print in 1 hour or less.

• You must be present for the print
• The tweens and teens get a card that shows their progress (located at the 2nd Floor Workspace). Staff will mark their progress on the card using their initials.

Over the past month, we’ve beta tested the program with 22 tweens and teens (so far!) and have closely looked at where the program works and where it doesn’t work.  We’ve got some fine tuning to do over the next few months so stay tuned and we’ll keep you updated.  In the meantime, have fun 3D printing!

Staff Development and Training

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On my 2nd day at the Chattanooga Public Library, I began what has now been 8 months of management/leadership training with Lisa & Dan Nausley at Sandler Training of Chattanooga. After not having much management/leadership training the three years before, I was so happy to have this opportunity.  It has helped me grow as a manager and be a better communicator.  It has also made me realize just how important training and staff development are for libraries.  It is VITAL for us to invest time in our employees as we move ahead.

Inspired by an awesome talk with my co-worker Megan Emery and by these awesome projects done by awesome people, we came up with a way to make sure that the staff working on The 2nd Floor of the Downtown Chattanooga Public Library was all trained and confident with the new services we’ve been rolling out.  Our staff training program will run every Monday starting in January until March 2014.  Every Monday, we’ll focus on a different service area found on The 2nd Floor.  In the end, we hope to get all of our staff up to speed on how to work with our community.

Here’s the email sent out to let folks know about the program:

To get everyone better acquainted with all of the new services happening on The 2nd Floor, we’re going to be running a 12 week staff training program for employees of the 2nd Floor.

Every Monday between 9am-12pm and 2pm-6pm starting on Monday January 6th.

We’ll schedule you to be away from your public co-working space so you can focus on training.

1. All things buttons (with Megan)
2. Creating and Mixing a song (with Justin)
3. Sewing a seam (with Megan)
4. The ins and outs of the 2nd Floor Arcade (with Justin)
5. Making stickers in the vinyl cutter (with Megan)
6. Filming and Editing Movies (with Justin)
7. Making a rainbow bracelet (with Megan)
8. All things laptops (with Justin)
9. Metal Stamping (with Megan)
10. Social Media on The 2nd Floor (with Justin)
11. The 3 D’s of 3D printing (with Justin)
12. How to use the embroidery machine (with Megan)

As we move ahead with the 2nd Floor, we want to make sure everyone who works here is well trained and capable of showing the community all about the new services we offer.

As we move ahead, I’ll post updates about this program here!