Tag Archives: Makerspace

Day Eighty Five of the CMLE Summer Fun Library Tour!


Even the word sounds fun and action-oriented. Maker. Making.

You just think cool things will happen!

The future of many school libraries is anchored to makerspaces

The Future Ready Librarians initiative lends a framework to the transformation

“Not long ago the New Milford High School library in New Jersey was pretty traditional. It had tall stacks of books and old wooden tables that didn’t move easily. It was underutilized. Students weren’t drawn to it and, to a large extent, neither were teachers.

Today, it’s a different story. Students stop by the library during their lunch period and come before and after school. Teachers send students down to work on projects during class time or bring their entire classes. With far more people in and out of the library throughout the day, circulation is way up.

What changed? The library itself got a makeover, but school culture did, too.

Laura Fleming became the New Milford High School librarian during a time of transformation. In her first year, she got rid of some bookshelves and created more dynamic seating arrangements. She also started allowing food and drink in the library so students could take advantage of the space during their lunch periods. And she created a makerspace.

Fleming, author of “Worlds of Learning: Best Practices for Establishing a Makerspace for Your School,” says the maker movement has changed the face of school libraries, and hers is no exception. Now in her fifth year at New Milford High School, Fleming has a beautiful, well-stocked makerspace, but early on she largely had to make do with baby steps.

The space, in a corner of the library that wasn’t previously being used for much, took shape over time — old bookshelves were converted into high-top workspaces, an old table got a LEGO plate glued on top of it, and little by little, students had room to create. And it didn’t matter that they didn’t have all the latest tech gadgets at their disposal.

“Makerspaces are about creating a maker culture,” Fleming said. “It’s a mindset. It’s a toolbox at your disposal for reaching kids. That can be done in any space and on any budget.”

Fleming finds some of her most consistent visitors to the makerspace are students who are most disengaged from the traditional curriculum. The library now offers them a place for constructive, creative work.

Many school districts around the country are reversing prior decisions to cut librarians, realizing the school library can be at the heart of a broader digital transformation.”

Read the rest of this article here.

What is in your makerspace? How did you get started? Do you have suggestions for others, or questions from yourself?

Transforming Teen Services: Making in the Library While Learning to Fail


(From the YALSA blog, by )

“Makerspaces, making, and the maker movement have become frequent conversation topics among librarians. We’ve encouraged making in the library through programming focused on writing, drawing, designing, building, coding, and more. As informal learning and gathering spaces, libraries are by nature situated to invite collaboration and discovery. In many cases, making has been associated with makerspaces — independent spaces that provide tools, materials, and support to youth and adults with an interest in creating (Educause, 2013). Sometimes makerspaces are flexible, subscription-based environments, sometimes they are hosts to structured programs and classes with an attached fee. Some have a technology prominence with 3D printers and laser cutters, while others lend an artistic attention  by supplying sewing machines and design software (Moorefield-Lang, 2015). No two makerspaces are the same, just as no two makers are the same.
Continue reading Transforming Teen Services: Making in the Library While Learning to Fail

Makerspaces in Libraries Survey

“Hi Everyone,

I am revising the book Makerspaces: A Practical Guide for Librarians and I’m conducting a survey of the field.

If you would please take a moment to answer this brief 15-question survey about libraries with makerspaces  it would be very helpful.  Thank you!”


Ellyssa Kroski

Q&A: Makerspaces, Media Labs and Other Forums for Content Creation in Libraries

From the ALA:

Statement of Purpose: This Q&A can be used as a guide by libraries as they create policies for makerspaces or other content creation forums within their facilities. It is not intended to be a template for such policies but rather a source for answers to questions that are likely to be asked as libraries formulate content creation policies. This document should not be construed as legal advice but may serve as insight as to when a library may need to seek legal advice.

Is a library really an appropriate space for hands on creative activities? 

Historically libraries have often included in their functions the creation, as well as the preservation and dissemination, of content in many different formats.  Libraries have supported and encouraged scholars, writers, inventors, artists and artisans, and provided study rooms, carrels, meeting, exhibit and performance spaces, as well as tools and equipment for individual and group use.

Providing 3D printers and other tools and technology in makerspaces, tech labs, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) or STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) labs, media labs, exhibit and performance venues, as well as other physical and virtual spaces for creative endeavors, is only the latest manifestation of the library’s natural role in encouraging and facilitating the creativity and ingenuity of its community of users. Continue reading Q&A: Makerspaces, Media Labs and Other Forums for Content Creation in Libraries

Raspberry Pi activities

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B
A listserve discussion was asking about different programs or activities people are doing in their libraries using Raspberry Pi devices. We are sharing them with you here:

  • We are using Pi mostly with a camera for Social Media campaigns.  Our IT department uses them to monitor wireless networks.
  • A few weeks ago we deployed Screenly open source. It’s been working great. We were displaying PowerPoint from a laptop and moved to this. PowerPoint can save as MP4, which we then load to the Pi.
    Continue reading Raspberry Pi activities