Makerspaces are collaborative learning environments where people come together to share materials and learn new skills. This is what libraries are all about - learning and sharing information and ideas.
Some examples of Makerspaces activities around the world include 3D printing and laser cutting, Lego robotics, digital media and making ‘green screen’ videos, e-textiles, electronics, and computer programming.
So it should come as no real surprise that many libraries are embracing the concept as an exciting way to engage children (and adults) in learning, particularly in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects. After watching and having the chance to play with these activities, children are bound to find science books fascinating!
At the same time, these activities are an opportunity to connect them with more traditional aspects of the library – ie: books.
Makerspaces make learning fun and are usually open to a wide range of ages. They motivate, inspire and encourage problem-solving. They’re all slightly different, but they’re all creative and hands-on. Ask your local library about makerspaces and see if they have plans to start one. They might already be offering these activities under a different name.
Sarah Steed is our Consultant Librarian and reviewer. A former Children's and Young Adult Librarian, she has more than 18 years' experience working in public libraries. Sarah comes from a family of readers and has shelves full to bursting with books.