Skip to main content

Four Reasons Why a Library Makerspace Makes Perfect Sense

"Making in the library is about offering students opportunities to move from simply being users and consumers to being creators, by providing them with the spaces, tools, and resources they need."  - Laura Fleming


Under what conditions does your best learning occur? Many folks, myself included, say their best learning happens when they create something previously non-existent. Where are the places in your school where learning happens, not through instruction and a prescribed curriculum, but through inquiry and exploration? Where is the central hub of your school learning community? A maker space may be just the thing for breathing relevancy and energy into your school library, or media center. According to Nick Provenzano, aka "The Nerdy Teacher," these are the four essential reasons why a media center makerspace makes sense; space, furniture, supervision, and access.
  • School media centers provide open, flexible space. Collaboration, interaction, and hands-on engagement need space for versatility and movement. Visible, transparent learning will ignite curiosity and interest from teachers and students.
  • Tables and chairs that offer flexibility and comfort send signals that the media center is an inviting space for freedom, creativity, and innovation. To create unique areas, look for furniture that slides or rolls. Oversized pillows and carpet squares provide spaces for students to sit comfortably while making. Writable surfaces and Lego walls provide opportunities for visible, design thinking.
  • The library staff provides watchful eyes to help students feel safe and supported. Much like the shifting role of the classroom teacher, library personnel should be asking driving questions instead of providing answers. Making is a personal, participatory adventure that doesn't require regimented guidance.
  • Extended hours and almost limitless availability mean more time for creativity and innovation. It strikes a special chord when students become so engrossed in their making that they lose track of time and don't want to leave.
An inviting, engaging makerspace will significantly alter the media center climate. Ultimately, the library makerspace will impact a school-wide learning culture. Makerspaces provide the conditions for some of our best learning. For many schools, the library provides the best fit for accessible, participatory learning. I've shared four important reasons for hosting a makerspace in your school library. Of course, there are more. I invite you to turn this post into a discussion by sharing your thoughts on media center maker spaces in the comments section.

References and Resources

Fleming, Laura. Worlds of Making: Best Practices for Establishing a Makerspace for Your School. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin, a SAGE, 2015.

Provenzano, Nicholas. Your Starter Guide to Makerspaces. United States: Blend Education, 2016.

"Why Personalized Learning Should Start in School Libraries." ESchool News. 02 Feb. 2017. Web. 22 Feb. 2017.

Photo credit: DigitalsKennedy, Pixabay CC0 Public Domain

Comments

Academic Papers said…
This is true that school media centers provide open, flexible space. Collaboration, interaction, and hands-on engagement need space for versatility and movement. So students should be engaged in different activities to learn better.

Popular posts from this blog

"Five Reasons Why Schoology Rocks!"

Networking at IETC last week provided me validation in my choice for best learning management system, Schoology. Having used Moodle, Edmodo, Canvas, and Blackboard, I can tell you that these are all terrific products for digital instruction. However, for the past several months, I felt that Schoology was a better choice than these previously mentioned products. Many times, asking the right questions is a precursor to making sound decisions. Here's an article that serves as a guide to asking the right questions when choosing a learning management system:


10 Questions Everyone Should Ask When Choosing an LMS
Here are five reasons why Schoology remains my #1 choice for a classroom LMS: Full-featured classroom organization tools, a collaborative learning place for teachers and students, device-independent applications, Schoology API allows the program to play nicely with others, and the basic level instructional components are, and will always be, FREE.

1.  Schoology's classroom mana…

Good People; The Product of Good Schools

The nightly business reports frequently mention inputs and outputs. Gross National Product (GNP) is a widely recognized leading economic indicator. Widgets aside, what is the product of schools? Some of you want to jump on a table and scream, "children are not products!" Let this breathe a bit as you trudge forward.



In his recent post, Mark Heintz eloquently shares his ruminations to a question being kicked around in our Modern Learners community, "What do we want our children to be?" Credit Pam Moran, Ira Socol, and Chad Ratliff, co-authors of "Timeless Learning; How Imagination, Observation, and Zero-based Thinking Change Schools," for sparking this conversation theme. Timeless Learning provides interesting provocations, inspiring experiences, and compelling rationale for school change.

Like others, my school's leadership team is engaging in discussions about reimagining school to meet the needs of our modern learners. These conversations are seldom e…

My One Word for 2018 is Wisdom

Wisdom, according to Dictionary.com, is "the quality or state of being wise;
knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action;
sagacity, discernment, or insight."


"Any fool can know. The point is to understand."
This quote, often incorrectly attributed to Albert Einstein, provides an illustration of the value of understanding over knowledge. A simple search reveals this quote can be linked to the writing of mathematician, George Finlay Simmons


Narrowing my thinking to one word is an interesting challenge. I have gained a greater appreciation for words and how the combination of words can convey meaning beyond definitions, beyond knowledge.

Where are the resources for knowledge in a modern world? We purchased an Amazon Echo as a gift for my parents. "It's such a smart and funny device," says my mom. Alexa has a seemingly unlimited access to information, music, and jokes, but does she understand? Can robots and computers obtain wis…