‘Craftivism’ in new Makerspace

By Hillary Donnell
Staff Writer

A typewriter in Beatley Library's new Makerspace
Photo: Hillary Donnell

Just beyond the former technology desk in Beatley Library lies a cozy room filled with craft supplies, typewriters, and piles and piles of magazines. This new addition to the Simmons Library is called the Makerspace.

Liaison and zine Librarian Dawn Stahura provides craft supplies and board games from her own house and catalogs zines for the Simmons Library. Through the Makerspace,  old magazines that would otherwise be cluttering shelves can see new life as art.

The Makerspace is somewhere students can go to destress, play board games, and make art. There is a particular focus on zine production in the space and Stahura is looking to develop a catalogue of student-made zines and welcomes both credited and anonymous submissions.

Stahura emphasizes that the Makerspace is an “alternative space…all the art supplies and stuff are in there. Take anything— use it to make stuff.”

Individuals and student organizations alike are invited to come, use any materials they’d like, and take anything they might need for club events. The Makerspace is also open to partnering with on-campus organizations to host events.

Beatley Library's collection of magazines to be repurposed
Photo: Hillary Donnell

The space is imbued with the craftivist spirit. Stahura wants students to know that this is a place where they can learn about activism and focus on creative, hands-on work and focus on “our own individual motivations” rather than work. Outside the room is a display of craft- and creativity-focused literature as well as a rack of free activist zines, which Stahura encourages curious students to take any time.

The Makerspace is also hosting some events related to the upcoming Harry Potter Exhibit, including a wand-making workshop and a sorting event where students will be placed under a sorting hat and given Hogwarts House buttons. The Simmons Voice will cover these and other Harry Potter Exhibit events in future issues.

On Feb. 24, the Makerspace will be hosting a Vagina Monologues “All Bodies, All Voices” themed zine workshop in the Student Activities Center from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Requests for items, suggestions, and ideas can be written on the freshly-painted whiteboard or emailed to Dawn Stahura at stahurad@simmons.edu. She can also be found in her library office in L-114.

Students are welcome to work in the Makerspace at any time the Beatley Library is open.