Friday, April 22, 2016

Making at UWSP: 3D Creativity

“Wow, you must have lines of students waiting to use it!” said someone recently after learning the Library has a 3D printer. While there may not be lines waiting at the 3D printer, that statement does not accurately reflect the activity and creativity that we have seen from students inspired by 3D printing.

Within days of the 3D printer arriving in the summer of 2014, our first student found the printer and presented his problem.  He had purchased an old Brownie camera, but it had a broken film spool. His solution? Use his 3D design skills to create and print his own spool.  Problem solved!

Our first student-created, 3D printed piece:
a spool for a Brownie camera.

Another student took on the daunting task of creating a 3D model of the entire UWSP campus. Working with Facilities Planning and the Disability and Assistive Technology Center, the Interior Architecture student used CAD files to 3D print all campus buildings, sidewalks, and streets. He then labeled everything in Braille, so that the model can be used by people with low vision to help orient themselves on campus. Accessibility improved!

3D model of the UWSP campus. The finished product is on display on the 6th floor of the library. Head on up to check it out for yourself.

Even students from the UWSP Fly Fishing Club were inspired to use the 3D printer. One student found a file for a fly fishing reel in an open online repository where people share 3D designs.  He downloaded the file and printed it out. Turns out it worked great, and soon the rest of the Fly Fishing Club was printing out their own reels. And each reel cost just $8.00 to print. Money saved!
Other students have printed phone cases, Raspberry Pi cases, GoPro accessories, chess set pieces, and a plethora of fun figurines. There is no shortage of ideas when it comes to 3D printing. From the student who is quite adept at using 3D design software to create their own digital 3D models, to the student who simply downloads a file from an online repository. All agree that the experience is easy, engaging, and fun. Several students have excitedly exclaimed, “Now I can say during a job interview, that I have used a 3D printer!” Something learned!

Online repositories, such as, are full of 3D files created and shared by others, that are available to download and print.

Interested in using the Library’s 3D printer? Read more about it here:

The library will also be offering a workshop on 3D model design for beginners on Tuesday, May 3rd at noon. Come learn and get inspired!

And while we’re talking about creativity, don’t forget to take advantage of these exciting opportunities available in the Stevens Point community.
    The Scarabocchio Art Museum currently is hosting the exhibit Maker: People,Places, Things which features photographs from Wendy (Schmidt) Hynes world-wide travels and studies of different makerspaces as well as objects she has created herself. The exhibit is open for viewing through April 30th. Read more about it.
    The Arts Alliance of Portage County has re-launched as CREATE Portage County with the mission to develop a more vibrant and engaging community through arts & culture advocacy and creative placemaking. Learn more about this exciting initiative.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Poem in your Pocket Day - April 21

April 21 is Poem in Your Pocket Day. The Library is excited to share poetry around campus, and this year we our collaborating with our community partners, including the Portage County Public Library, the Arts Alliance of Portage County (now CREATE Portage County), The Store, and the Portage County Literacy Council.

Read more about Poem in Your Pocket here. 

Book of the Week: One Child by Mei Fong

One Child : the Story of China's Most Radical Experiment

By Mei Fong

Call Number:  HB3654.A3 F66 2016

Review from the New York Times

Publisher's Description:   An intimate investigation of the world’s largest experiment in social engineering, revealing how its effects will shape China for decades to come, and what that means for the rest of the world

When Communist Party leaders adopted the one-child policy in 1980, they hoped curbing birth-rates would help lift China’s poorest and increase the country’s global stature. But at what cost? Now, as China closes the book on the policy after more than three decades, it faces a population grown too old and too male, with a vastly diminished supply of young workers.

Mei Fong has spent years documenting the policy’s repercussions on every sector of Chinese society. In One Child, she explores its true human impact, traveling across China to meet the people who live with its consequences. Their stories reveal a dystopian reality: unauthorized second children ignored by the state, only-children supporting aging parents and grandparents on their own, villages teeming with ineligible bachelors, and an ungoverned adoption market stretching across the globe. Fong tackles questions that have major implications for China’s future: whether its “Little Emperor” cohort will make for an entitled or risk-averse generation; how China will manage to support itself when one in every four people is over sixty-five years old; and above all, how much the one-child policy may end up hindering China’s growth.

Weaving in Fong’s reflections on striving to become a mother herself, One Child offers a nuanced and candid report from the extremes of family planning.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Book of the Week: Lit Up by David Denby

Lit Up : One Reporter, Three Schools, Twenty-four Books that Can Change Lives
By David Denby
Read a review from the New York Times
Publisher's Description:  A bestselling author and distinguished critic goes back to high school to find out whether books can shape lives.
 It's no secret that millions of American teenagers, caught up in social media, television, movies, and games, don't read seriously-they associate sustained reading with duty or work, not with pleasure. This indifference has become a grievous loss to our standing as a great nation--and a personal loss, too, for millions of teenagers who may turn into adults with limited understanding of themselves and the world.

Can teenagers be turned on to serious reading? What kind of teachers can do it, and what books? To find out, Denby sat in on a tenth-grade English class in a demanding New York public school for an entire academic year, and made frequent visits to a troubled inner-city public school in New Haven and to a respected public school in Westchester county. He read all the stories, poems, plays, and novels that the kids were reading, and creates an impassioned portrait of charismatic teachers at work, classroom dramas large and small, and fresh and inspiring encounters with the books themselves, including The Scarlet Letter, Brave New World, 1984, Slaughterhouse-Five, Notes From Underground, Long Way Gone and many more.

Lit Up is a dramatic narrative that traces awkward and baffled beginnings but also exciting breakthroughs and the emergence of pleasure in reading. In a sea of bad news about education and the fate of the book, Denby reaffirms the power of great teachers and the importance and inspiration of great books.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Making at UWSP: Stop Talking, Start Doing!

If you get a chance, check out the exhibit “Maker: People, Places, Things” currently being showcased at the Smith Scarabocchio Art Museum.  I attended the opening reception last Friday, and found it inspiring to say the least.  I was fortunate enough to talk to the featured artist, Wendy (Schmidt) Hynes and her husband, Morgan Hynes.  Both have a wealth of experience in makerspaces and I could have picked their brains all night for nuggets of information.  The gem that hit me over the head was a comment made by Wendy when I shared our ideas; “sounds like you guys need to stop discussing, and just start doing!”  Yeah, that made me pause for a moment. Could we really just start doing? 

“Photo from the exhibit “Maker: People, Places, Things” by Wendy (Schmidt) Hynes”

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that we are actually already DOING.  And while officially we have never called it a makerspace, I think we have more than a foundation in place.  It’s a matter of getting the word out.   Here’s a brief summary of “makerspace” resources available to the UWSP community:

·         3D Printing (since summer 2014!)
·         Programming/Workshops
o   Makerspaces in Portage County and UWSP: Opportunities for Collaboration
§  Greg Wright, Arts Alliance of Portage County
§  Wednesday, March 16th, noon – 1 pm (LRC 107)
o   Ongoing 3D printing workshops
o   Do you have an idea for a workshop? Let me know!
·          Makerspace Resource Guide
·         And most importantly, our campus is filled with people who are already experts at Making!

It’s a start.  It’s actually more than many campuses have.  My hope is that it will grow from here.  But to do so will take a community of people.  I welcome ideas, expertise, and thoughts as we try to formally pull this all together.  The purpose of these blog posts is to help facilitate that discussion and generate ideas.  I will share activities we are working on (currently experimenting with using an Xbox Kinect to create 3D scans!), examples of how making activities can be incorporated into your curriculum (like Katja Marquart did with her Interior Architecture course), and stuff that I just find cool!

So, stay tuned…

Mindy King, Emerging Tech Librarian

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Book of the Week: The Internet of Things by Samuel Greengard

The Internet of Things

By Samuel Greengard

Call Number:  TK7895.E43 G74 2015 

Review from THE Times Higher Education

Publisher's Description:   We turn on the lights in our house from a desk in an office miles away. Our refrigerator alerts us to buy milk on the way home. A package of cookies on the supermarket shelf suggests that we buy it, based on past purchases. The cookies themselves are on the shelf because of a “smart” supply chain. When we get home, the thermostat has already adjusted the temperature so that it’s toasty or bracing, whichever we prefer. This is the Internet of Things—a networked world of connected devices, objects, and people. In this book, Samuel Greengard offers a guided tour through this emerging world and how it will change the way we live and work.

Greengard explains that the Internet of Things (IoT) is still in its early stages. Smart phones, cloud computing, RFID (radio-frequency identification) technology, sensors, and miniaturization are converging to make possible a new generation of embedded and immersive technology. Greengard traces the origins of the IoT from the early days of personal computers and the Internet and examines how it creates the conceptual and practical framework for a connected world. He explores the industrial Internet and machine-to-machine communication, the basis for smart manufacturing and end-to-end supply chain visibility; the growing array of smart consumer devices and services—from Fitbit fitness wristbands to mobile apps for banking; the practical and technical challenges of building the IoT; and the risks of a connected world, including a widening digital divide and threats to privacy and security. Finally, he considers the long-term impact of the IoT on society, narrating an eye-opening “Day in the Life” of IoT connections circa 2025.

Friday, March 4, 2016

7th Annual Faculty/Staff Scholarly and Creative Works Symposium and Reception - April 7th

The University Library, along with the Office for Academic Affairs, looks forward to hosting the 7th Annual Faculty/Staff Scholarly and Creative Works Symposium and Reception on Thursday, April 7th (4:30-6:30 p.m.) in Room 650 (Library).

We are thrilled to have a faculty representative from each college as our featured presenters, with opening remarks from Todd Huspeni, Interim AVC for Teaching, Learning and Academic Programs.


World Languages 

Health Care Professions (CPS)

Wildlife Ecology 

    The intention of this event is to celebrate and showcase the work of our campus colleagues. While we may know what our department colleagues have done in the area of scholarship and creative works, we don’t always know about the work of our colleagues in other departments or colleges. Having the opportunity to learn what people are doing on campus may also lead to future collaborations.

We encourage all campus faculty/staff to submit any scholarly or creative works. Your work can be submitted electronically. The Library is also willing to pick up materials from offices.  We would like to have submissions by April 4th. 

We will also include a brief bio and photo for each person submitting work.

Please contact the Library (Nerissa Nelson or Heather Springer if you have any questions.

We hope to see you there!