On the 19th of April 2015, Melbourne Library Services held a gathering of the local Melbourne Maker groups at their flagship library, Library at The Dock. This venue was the perfect place for Mini Make Day as it houses City of Melbourne first Makerspace, a place where the public can come and explore technology for the first time, attend formal lessons and use their new found skills to create what every they want in the space.

The Makerspace itself is staffed by a team of detected library staff members who’s backgrounds go from traditional making (3D printing, electronics, fabrication) to artistic values (filmmaking, design and audio design/engineering) and touch almost everything in-between.
Mini Make Day brought some of the major Maker groups to the library to allow the wider public to see what has been going on in the Maker Community and experience first hand what is possible. The groups were all set up with their latest achievements, with a wide selection including arduno based robots, wearable electronics, 3D printed costumes and props, independent game design, virtual reality and more. Gil also had a few of his personal projects in to allow people to experience them firsthand.
Attendees were able to go from one group to the other, asking questions and rubbing shoulders with these talented makers. It was not surprising to hear comments reported back such as:
  • “Thank you – this was really well organised.”
  • “Very educational, thank you I had no idea about any of this.”
  • “This was great.”
  • “Please pass on my compliments, this was a fantastic day.”
  • “This is very good, it is good to see universities here.”
  • “That was fun, thanks.”

My favourite quote was from a 11 years old who when saw the VR set up screamed to his family…

  • “It’s so cool in there!!! They have Minecraft!!!”

The day was also peppered with introduction level lighting talks on 3D printing, Arduino, and Virtual Reality/Occulus Rift. These classes were aimed at discussing what these new technologies and tools offer, allowing the public to see and understand whats on offer. The interest was amazing, and a large number of people came back after the talks to discuss how to learn more.

The day packed out the second level floor of the Library and we were flooded by a large number of attendees from the minute we opened the door. From the feedback from those groups attending, everyone was more than happy with how the day went, and I know I am looking forward to the next event.

Thanks to Andy G for this walk through video moments after opening the doors.

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