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The Development of Makerspaces in School LibrariesBy Angel Sloss

IntroductionIn todays society the implementation of advanced technology being integrated into school media centers across the nation, always involves school administrators, teachers, librarians and all other various personnel in educator roles.

Through careful planning, budgeting and advocating through federal agencies, school media centers can gradually reap the benefits of integrated technological advances within the center to support a challenging curriculum aligned with national and state standards.

MakerspacesSuch advances in technology can be used to create integrated technology learning areas called Makerspaces.

Makerspaces are DIY spaces where people can gather to create, invent, and learn.

Makers: HistoryMakerspaces first seem to appear around 2005 as part of the much popular DIY (Do it yourself) movement.

DIY (Do it yourself) movement : Spirited with the old view of the industrial revolution, to make and recycled into modern enrichment classes; such as, woodshop, computer classes, and art classes.

Makers: PurposeThe purpose of the maker is to create a comfortable environment for users to experiment, create and learn within a controlled environment.

Makerspaces: ApproachMakerspaces allow students to explore objectives within the curriculum with a hands on approach.

Makerspaces & ToolsOften you will see such spaces include 3D printers, which are optional, to produce three dimensional products like toys and robots; in addition to, tools for welding, building, software for the production of music; as well as, craft and art supplies.

Makerspaces: Instruction and Creative FreedomThe making environment is conveniently supported by, local, state and national standards for creativity, productivity, thinking, learning, contributing and inquiry are met through makerspace activities (Preddy, 2014, p. 5).

Not only does is support CORE and STEM, but it also supports AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner by engaging students to think.

Programming & WorkshopsMakerspaces in the media center need to support the curriculum by hosting appropriate unit planned programs & workshops. For example, a Biology unit that involves studying rocks and minerals .

Examples of Unit WorkshopsStorytelling Unit involving telling stories through fun treats.

Geometry Unit involving kite making .

Makerspaces & School Library GoalsDisplay effort and participation by asking learners questions and allowing learners to investigate answers with meaningful facts.

Demonstrate adaption skills and allow students to adjust their focus and search for a variety of resources to achieve success.

School Library Goals ContinuedDevelop students into leaders and support self-confidence when learners present to their peers.

Allow for critical thinking to produce alternative conclusions.

New Milford High School Case StudyNew Milford High School (NMHS) in New Milford, New Jerseys space was very humble and students engaged in simple tinkering that was unscripted.

New Milford High SchoolThe librarian on staff accepted the challenge of reinventing the library to transform it into a vibrant learning facility, and the principal offered full support and professional freedom.

The transformation of the library space resulted in a thriving learning environment for students.

Success also came from staff and faculty adopting a hands off approach to the makerspace, and transferring ownership over to the student body.

What did we learn? Theres no limit to the types of workshops one could create in the makerspace environment to fit curriculum needs.

The school library media center is a perfect place for makerspaces to exist because it is a place where students come together to collaborate; fostering learning and the, think, learn and build knowledge mission of makerspaces.


Looking BackMakerspaces are very exciting and can be fun for all of those involved. School Libraries can support national and state standards for education in an innovative way that includes the integration of high demand technology. Makerspaces allow for the transfer of ownership from faculty to students; making students responsible for their learning.

ReferencesCanino-Fluitt, A. A. (2014). School Library Makerspaces. Teacher Librarian, 41(5), 21-27.

Fernandez, P. (2014). Through the Looking glass: envisioning new library technologies the possibilities and challenges of 3D Printing. Library Hi Tech News, Vol. 31 Iss: 5.

Gustafson, E. E. (2013). Meeting Needs: Makerspaces and School Libraries. School Library Monthly, 29(8), 35-36.

Kurti, R. S., Kurti, D. D., & Fleming, L. l. (2014). Practical Implementation of an Educational Makerspace. Teacher Librarian, 42(2), 20-24.

Moorefield-Lang, H. (2015). Making, Libraries, and Literacies. Library Media Connection, 33(4), 30-31.

Preddy, L. (2013). School library makerspaces: Grades 6-12.


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