Monday, April 20, 2015

Makerspaces in the Library

You may have never heard of the term makerspace, or the act of making, before. A makerspace is a place where students can come together to design, create, invent and engage in learning. The library is a hub of learning where students come to find not only the print resources that have always been available, but a place that is designed around broader education and research needs.

Makerspaces typically provide access to materials, tools, and technologies to allow for hands-on exploration and participatory learning. It can house everything from Lego robotics and electronics to physical tools like hammers and screwdrivers to build and invent. New and old tools can be added as the need arises.

Designing a space to accommodate such a wide range of activities can be challenging within the school setting. Having a space that is functional for a wide range of ages is key for the elementary school.  The space must allow for the need for access for children from the age of five to twelve. While this can be a challenge, the goal is the same-creating a creative environment where students can learn.

Our school is about to embark on this journey. As with all things, the process from traditional library to makerspace will be slow. We will begin by reinventing the space that currently exists. Shelves will be moved, books will be weeded, and new tables will be brought into the space. From there, the library will continue to evolve as space and funds become available.

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