AASL Post: Why a Makerspace is Not a Magic Cure-all For Your Problems

AASL Post: Why a Makerspace is Not a Magic Cure-all for Your Problems | Starting a makerspace can be a wonderful thing for your school library. But sometimes, there are problems in place that need to be dealt with first.

I realize that this title is going so upset some people. That some might accuse me of click-bait. But I think this is a topic that is often being left out in the discussion about makerspaces. Many school librarians have beautiful visions of putting out some arts and crafts supplies or LEGOs or robots and think that starting a makerspace will transform everything about their library. But sometimes, we need to put other things in order first.

AASL Post: Why a Makerspace is Not a Magic Cure-all For Your Problems

Makerspaces have the power to transform learning.  They can be amazing spaces of informal, hands-on learning and libraries are the perfect place for them because they make the space available to ALL students.  But a makerspace can’t fix everything all at once.  I have many librarians ask me for help in starting their makerspaces.  And sometimes I tell them they need to go slower or deal with the underlying issues of their space first.  A $1,000 makerspace grant is not going to instantly change your school culture.  This wasn’t a fun post to write, but I feel like it needs to be a part of the discussion of makerspaces and school libraries.

Check out my post over on AASL Knowledge Quest to learn about solutions for problems like:
  • “My teachers only let students come to the library for ten minutes”
  • “Our school has rampant behavior problems this year”
  • “My administration offers no support to my library program and they want me to fail”

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 Library Spaces.