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If a Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words, Is a 3Doodle Worth 10,000?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

By Elizabeth Chase

Frisco Public Library

Editor’s Note: Frisco Public Library conducted the interview below with community member Catherine Ghaffar, a local resident who with her family recently used the library’s STEM backpacks. The backpacks were purchased with a $41,613.00 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (2016).

The interview represents one family’s story (both in words and social media posts) about using the 3Doodle Maker Kit from the Frisco Public Library (FPL). The kit contains a 3Doodler, which is a 3D Printing Pen.

FPL: How did you learn about the Maker Kits?

Catherine Ghaffar: A children’s librarian told us about them when we were checking in a STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Math] backpack. She also told us where to find some documentation. We picked up several flyers that day and placed a few items on hold after reading them.

Quick Start Guides for FPL’s Maker Kits
Quick Start Guides for FPL’s Maker Kits

FPL: Were you surprised to learn about the Maker Kits at the Library?

Catherine Ghaffar: I am familiar with the trend of makerspaces in public libraries, but I was surprised (and thrilled!) that we are able to take the tools home with us.

3Doodler Checkout
Instagram post by Catherine Ghaffar

This opportunity definitely allowed for a more genuine exploration experience, as my daughter had time for trial and error with online research (she watched several instructional videos online) in between.

3Doodler Instagram Hearts
Instagram post by Catherine Ghaffar

We have watched your 3D printers at work several times while in the library and while my daughter was interested it didn’t translate to her desire to create and print a project. Using the 3Doodler and understanding the connection between the two processes has ignited her interest in using the (traditional?) 3D printing service the library offers.

3Doodler Instagram Practice
Instagram post by Catherine Ghaffar

FPL: What made you decide to check out a Maker Kit?

Catherine Ghaffar: The ability to bring it home was a huge draw. We have seen a teen makerspace in use at the Irving Public library, but my tween daughter was apprehensive to experiment in the space with other (older) teens present. While I certainly see the value in a spontaneous group experience, especially in making, I think being able to fully explore the 3Doodler tool was key.

3Doodler Instagram Eiffel Tower Process
Instagram post by Catherine Ghaffar

FPL: Your daughter obviously mastered the 3Doodler. About how much time do you think she spends using it?

Catherine Ghaffar: We kept it checked out for the full two weeks and I think she used it probably 10 of the 14 days. Some days it was a quick attempt, other days she spent 1-2 hours experimenting or replicating projects from their website or some videos we found together online. After the third day, I purchased more ABS (Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) plastic, as I realized it was a possibility we would run out before the kit was due.

3Doodler Instagram Eiffel Tower
Instagram post by Catherine Ghaffar

FPL: Thank you for sharing with us, initially on Instagram and again through this interview. We love to inspire curiosity and imagination, helping to create and tell the stories of our community!

Elizabeth Chase is senior librarian at Frisco Public Library.