Why Makerspaces in Libraries?
Talking Points: Museums, Libraries and Makerspaces, Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
IMLS makes a strong case for libraries and museums to implement makerspaces as a means to “strengthen community-based learning, particularly for critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and engagement in STEM.”
This selection of resources will help guide the implementation of your makerspace, including space planning considerations and getting buy-in from stakeholders.
- 7 Tips for Planning a Makerspace, Transforming Education Through Technology Journal
Sensible strategies for starting small, creating a space for active learning and cultivating a making culture.
- A Librarian’s Guide to Makerspaces: 16 Resources
Open Educational Database List of 16 resources including articles and blog posts.
- A Place of Their Own: Creating spaces where teens can thrive, Jennifer Velasquez, American Libraries
Cogent insights on creating spaces where teens feel empowered and engaged; references YALSA's Teen Spaces Guidelines.
- FAQs about Makerspaces, Shannon Barniskis
As a PhD student, Barniskis studied makerspaces in libraries of all sizes; she blogs about a variety of issues, including policies and safety.
- Launching a Makerspace: Lessons Learned From a Transformed School Library
New Canaan High School librarian Michelle Luhtala recently jumped headfirst into creating a makerspace in her library and documented what she learned, how her space changed and how it affected students along the way.
- Making + Learning in Museums and Libraries, Pittsburgh Children's Museum
A framework for those who are just starting makerspaces or those who want to reevaluate existing spaces; organized by three key elements: Purpose, People, and Pieces and Parts.
- Making Your Space: Creators and Makers in the Library, WebJunction
If the idea of a makerspace conjures up the hurdles for you (limited space, limited resources, or limited confidence in your own tech skills), this webinar will help you learn how to get started and grow a space in your library for creating.
- Of Makerspaces and Media Labs: Tales from Two Small Libraries, Techsoup for Libraries
Techsoup article featuring two small libraries, which includes good “Advice from the Librarians Who’ve Been There.”
Projects and Tools
There are many tools available beyond the 3D printer to get people making at your library.
- Crafting at the Library, Public Libraries Online
Very simple and low-budget crafting programming for adults.
- Legos! The one tool every makerspace needs?, School Library Journal
The author celebrates the versatility of Legos, with ideas for Lego projects and games, plus tips for getting around the high cost of Lego sets.
- Makedo Cardboard Construction
These simple and safe tools open up all kinds of possibilities for creating with cardboard. Learn key techniques for working with cardboard in quick 15-second tutorials (scroll halfway down).
- Makerspace Manual, Susan Barnum, El Paso (TX) Public Library
This free-to-download ebook has step-by-step instructions and lots of illustrations for projects using Soft Circuits, Makey-Makey, Scratch and more.
- Small Tech, Big Impact, School Library Journal
Good ideas for acquiring technology tools on a small budget —robotics, circuitry kits and 3D printer pens are all within reach.
Digital Media Labs
As a variation on making, a digital media lab is more focused on youth cultural production, creating a space full of media equipment where teens can Hang Out with each other, Mess Around with the stuff and Geek Out on creating and producing (HOMAGO).
- Build Your Own Digital Media Lab, Skokie (IL) Public Library
The Skokie Public Library’s state-of-the-art media lab lets patrons get creative with technology.
- Cool Tools
PBSparents lists and links to free online apps for integrating digital media into the learning environment.
- Digital Media Labs and Makerspaces in Small and Rural Libraries, TechSoup webinar archive
Two small libraries will share how they have integrated digital media and makerspace technology in their library.
- HOMAGO Guide Book, Yollocalli Open Studio
This handbook is designed for those who want to create a youth cultural production space, or just want to understand more about the HOMAGO learning theory.
- Shoestring Digital Media Lab, Laurel (DE) Public Library
An inspiring story about one small library that started a digital media lab on a shoestring budget and then watched it blossom; includes the starter equipment list.
- Where Teens and Technology Meet, WebJunction self-paced course
The digital media lab at Howard County (MD) Library System demonstrates that teens learn most effectively through hands-on projects and peer-to-peer communications.
- Tips for Making with Learners of All Ages
Don’t overlook the potential for engaging kids as young as pre-K or kindergarten–they can develop skills through making too.
Photo Credit: BiblioTEC at the Kitsap Regional Library