Advocating for Makerspaces in Libraries

 

Advocating for Makerspaces in Libraries  |  Many school librarians face questions and criticisms when starting makerspaces in their schools.  My post on AASL Knowledge Quest addresses some of the most common ones and offers advice for advocacy.

Advocating for Makerspaces in School Libraries

I’m pleased and honored to announce that I will now be a regular monthly contributor to AASL’s Knowledge Quest blog.  This is likely old news to you if you follow me on Twitter, but with the summer being as crazy as it was I realized that I never got around to mentioning it on here.  Knowledge Quest is a fantastic resource for school librarians and the fantastic group of bloggers they’ve put together will make for diverse topics and points of view.

My first article for Knowledge Quest came out last month and I’m pretty proud of it.  It addresses one of the concerns I’ve found among many librarians trying to start makerspaces – how do you deal with the criticisms that often come with trying out a new idea like this?  The article addresses my response to several of the common questions you’re likely to get if you’re starting (or already have) a makerspace in your library.  Advocating for makerspaces within our libraries is not easy, but like library advocacy in general, it is an important part of what we do.  Click on over to Knowledge Quest and check it out 🙂

Here’s a preview:

Since I first started my Makerspace at Stewart Middle Magnet School in January 2014, I have received a lot of positive feedback. I’ve given talks, presented at conferences, and shared about our experiences through my blog and through social media.  Some of the questions I am most frequently asked are: Why should makerspaces be in the library?  Why not just convert a classroom into a STEM lab?

In a similar vein, I often hear from librarians who are struggling to get their administration/teachers/community to understand the rationale for having a Makerspace in their library.  Aren’t those kids just playing?  Shouldn’t libraries be quiet and clean?  How does this tie in with the curriculum?

How we react to these types of questions are crucial in our advocacy for our spaces.

How we react to questions & criticisms is crucial in advocacy for our space Click To Tweet

Diana Rendina, MLIS, is a middle school media specialist/teacher librarian in Tampa, FL. She is the creator of the blog RenovatedLearning.com & is also a monthly contributor to AASL Knowledge Quest. Diana is the winner of the 2016 ISTE Outstanding Young Educator Award, the 2015 ISTE Librarians Network Secondary Award, the 2015 AASL Frances Henne Award & the 2015 SLJ Build Something Bold Award. She is an international speaker on the Maker Movement and has presented at conferences including AASL, FETC & ISTE. Diana co-authored Challenge-Based Learning in the School Library Makerspace with Colleen and Aaron Graves (to be published August 2017). She is also the author of the forthcoming ISTE book, Reimagining School Libraries.

Comments

  1. Becky Calzada : August 21, 2015 at 6:31 am

    This is so timely! I was just having a conversation with my librarians about this. Rather than pack up & not continue, we are using these questions as an opportunity to share & advocate for the why’s and benefits of Makerspaces. I look forward to reading your submission.

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