Image source

Makerspaces in Libraries are a hot topic and there is a plethora of information available.  Academic articles on makerspaces are readily available on the UBC Library data bases as are peer driven blogs  on the web by teacher librarians who operate makerspaces in their school libraries.

Through my research I have found evidence to support what I have already witnessed through our school based maker program that makerspaces “foster play and exploration, facilitate informal learning opportunities, nurture peer-to-peer training, [and that] they develop a culture of creating as opposed to consuming” (Britton).  The full scope of what makerspaces can do cannot fit within a single blog entry.   David Gauntlett’s 5 minute video synopsis of his book Making is Connecting is a good place to start if a more in depth philosophical argument for the merits of a makerspace is needed.

View: David Gauntlett’s – Making is Connecting

In terms of a takeaway for where to begin with adding digital media and how to extend our Maker program into our library is that there is no one-size fits all model that can be transplanted in. Like everything in education we must tailor our choices to suit our clients (i.e. the students, the parents and the staff at our school).  As discussed in “The Environment and Tools of Great Educational Makerspaces” the interest of students must be the guiding principle when selecting the tools and designing the space if we are to have projects that “arouse their curiosity and fill their thoughts even when they are not in the space” (9). Amos Blanton’s talk with Joyce Valenza on Library Makerspace neatly ties this all together.  Blanton says that libraries are the ideal places for makerspaces because they are already geared toward student interest, in that you walk into a library and choose a book based on your own interests not based on what the curriculum is dictating. He takes this a step further by pointing out that by tapping into an existing school culture, the technology used in the maker space can connect to that culture rather than existing for itself.

View: Amos Blanton and Joyce Valenza on Library Makerspaces

Makerspaces have the potential to allow for powerful learning where students can take what they know and do real work for real audiences.  The power of making cannot be underestimated.  In summary, my three main takeaways are: there is no one size fits all model for a library makerspace, the interest of the students must be the guiding principle behind the makerspace and the makerspace must tap into the existing school culture.

Works Cited 

Barack, Lauren. “School Librarians Want More Tech—and Bandwidth.” School Library Journal. WordPress, 3 Aug. 2015. Web. 23 Sept. 2016.

Britton, Lauren.  “The Makings of Maker Spaces”. Library Journal 137.16 (2012).  Proquest. Web.  1 Oct 2016.

Espinoza, Elizabeth. “Maker/Coding Apps (46 Tools) A Collection of Educational Technology.” EdShelf. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.

Gallagher, Colin. “Ed Tech Survey Results: Final Part.” Edu-(Tech)niquesEducational Technology in Practice in The Field! WordPress, 5 Feb. 2011. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.

Gauntlett, David. “‘Making is connecting’: The 5-minute talking head video.”  Online Video Clip.  YouTube. 30 Sept. 2010.  1 Oct. 2016

Kurti, R. S., Kurti, D., & Fleming, L.  “Practical implementation of an educational makerspace.” Teacher Librarian, 42(2), 20-24. (2014). ProQuest. Web. 1 Oct 2016.

Kurti, R. S., Kurti, D., & Fleming, L. (2014). “The environment and tools of great educational makerspaces”. Teacher Librarian, 42(1), 8-12. (2014). ProQuest. Web. 1 Oct 2016.

Lady, Library. “Amos Blanton and Joyce Valenza on Library Makerspaces.”  Online Video Clip. Makerspaces in the Library., 2014. 1 Oct. 2016.

Lady, Library. “Maker Spaces in the Library Why You Need One and What to Do When You Get One!” School Libraries. Vingle, n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.

Maker Education Initiative. “Getting Started.” MakerEd. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.

Raki, Heidi. “Differentiating Technology Suggestions.” Raki’s Rad Resources. Blogger, 15 Aug. 2014. Web. 23 Sept. 2016.

Rendina, Diana. “Building a Culture of Creativity + Discovery in Education.” Renovated Learning. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.