Magazine article Texas Library Journal

INNOVATION LAB: A Conference Highlight

Magazine article Texas Library Journal

INNOVATION LAB: A Conference Highlight

Article excerpt

The state of innovation is strong in Texas libraries! For the past three years, TLA conference planners have provided a platform for innovative librarians and thought leaders to share their experience regarding STEM and STEAM initiatives. The Exhibit Hall is home to the Innovation Lab which is designed to engage conference goers with stage presentations, a curated vendor area, and spots for Maker Tables that highlight our colleagues' creative work (in conference speak, think of a poster presentation...plus).

The Innovation Lab's mission is to inspire libraries about these three truths:

1. Community access to science education is critical.

2. In fact, libraries must be involved in these efforts.

3. We can show you how.

This year's line-up included a wide-array of activities to spark new ideas across Texas. One of the most well attended stage presentations was Building Bridges between Makerspace and English Language Arts presented by a school librarian and a language arts teacher that talked about creative ways to get teachers into the school library for more than just checkouts.

Man One, a talented graffiti artist brought the STEAM to the stage and produced an artwork while answering audience questions-definitely an Innovation Lab first! This year, the Lab stage also featured another type of raw talent, the Circuit Girls. This all-girl, middle school coding group showed off their love of coding and fashion wearables to help inspire teachers and librarians to start their own coding clubs. …

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