Library Makerspaces

Connecting Culturally Relevant Literacy with Making

What does a library makerspace look like?

*Giving students opportunities to get their hands dirty

*Letting go of some control, and allow students to guide their own learning, encouraging them to seek and offer guidance to each other.

*Help students make connections with books they have read--and, guide them to project based learning

Seeing the Maker Potential in Every Book

Obvious maker connections--books about building, constructing, designing, tinkering, computer science

Take any story and start with story elements to inspire making.

Examples: create a setting or characters. Extend the story with a different ending. Create a blog, or other digital product, written in the voice of the main character. Pull out abstract concepts that can be made physical--like a bridge or building. Create a setting or world in Minecraft with a specific story in mind.

Ask yourself---how can the students take the connections they've made out of the book, and into the makerspace. (It may not be the same idea that you had!)

Be open to possibilities and the students' ideas of what THEY want to make and learn about--let their ideas drive what they are making.

Using Appropriate and Accessible Materials

Low tech options vs high tech

Fancy, high-tech gadgets and resources are great if you have them, but are not required for a great maker program! Making is a way of thinking!

Adapt your existing resources to fit the maker mindset

Start with what you know--and, with what the kids know--then, expand and get out of your comfort zone!

Traditional Librarian VS Maker Librarian


*Story with set of instructions to be followed


*Story that introduces or explains a concept--followed by less structured time to create with access to a variety of materials

*Open ended questioning

*Letting students guide their own learning experience


*Classroom management,


*acquisition of materials

Trouble Shooting:

*Find teachers who are willing (and excited) to collaborate with you and your maker endeavor--this will help with management and time

*Use your regularly scheduled library time for makerspace time--once a month--or, whatever works best for you

*Beg, borrow, steal (ask) for donations--teachers are really good at cleaning out their closets at the end of the school year--the perfect time to get some goodies for your space