Makerspace and Digital Media Lab Resources

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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.”

Makerspace Planning

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.
  • 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.

Projects and Tools

There are many tools available beyond the 3D printer to get people making at your library.

  • 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).

  • 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.

See also Resources for STEM/STEAM Projects and Programs

Photo Credit: BiblioTEC at the Kitsap Regional Library

Toolkit for Creating Smart Spaces

WebJunction offers a toolkit to help you re-envision your library’s place as a center of community learning. Explore more of the Toolkit for Creating Smart Spaces.