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Transcript

Equitable Access in school libraries:

Edition

Makerspace... what is that?

But... why in the library?

Benefits of using a makerspace:

Makerspaces can help close the gap

Every Childhood Deserves a Makerspace

Makerspace... what is that?

  • A makerspace can look different for everyone. The appearance of the physical space is not what necessarily what makes a makerspace. Instead, what goes on inside of it is what makes it a makerspace.
  • "A makerspace is a room that contains tools and components, allowing people to enter with an idea and leave with a complete project." (W.A.T.S., 2018)

  • School libraries serve as a central hub for all of the students within a school. This means that ALL of the students in the school will in turn have access to the makerspace and it's materials. There are no limitations for the type of student who can come to the library, such as academic standing, the classes that they are enrolled in, or even which teachers that they may have.
  • The types of activities that go on inside of a makerspace are very similar to what is already happening in some classes in schools. For instance, classes such as shop (building trades, carpentry, welding, etc), automechanics, home economics, electronics, and drafting all have very similar concepts to what goes on inside of a makerspace. But by it being in the library, everyone would be able to enjoy the benefits that it would have to offer.
  • Libraries have been known to be a dedicated quiet space, but that does not have to be the case. If there is a designated area for the makerspace and it's activities, then why should we not allow more noise in the library that can be separate from the "quiet place?"

But... why in the library?

Benefits of using a makerspace:

  • These spaces are focused on students doing hands-on activities that allow for them to experience learning in a different way than what traditionally happens in a classroom setting. In a makerspace, students are encouraged to mess with things, experiment, use critical thinking skills, be creative with their imagination, and sometimes they may even come up with solutions that could solve a problem in the real world.
  • Another important factor to mention is that this moves them outside of the standards based testing aspect of school for a little bit. Makerspaces are also a great place for inquiry-based learning to naturally happen.
  • These activities can also be great for teambuilding and helping students improve their relationships with others.

Makerspaces can help close the gap

  • By having a makerspace in the school library, it would help lessen the digital divide for students. For instance, in 2019, eleven percent of students living in "remote rural" areas did not have internet access (COE - Rural Students’ Access to the Internet, n.d.). While a makerspace's sole purpose is not to provide internet/computer usage, it would allow for a dedicated space for this to happen.
  • Not only would a makerspace lessen the digital divide by providing internet access, but it would provide access to many materials and activities that some students may never have access to. For instance, one of the most saught after items in a makerspace is a 3-D printer. The vast majority of students would likely never encounter a 3-D printer unless they actively sought one out for their personal use or potentially entered a career that utilized one.

References

What Is a Makerspace? (2018, June 27). WeAreTeachers (W.A.T.S.). https://www.weareteachers.com/what-is-a-makerspace/ ‌

References

‌COE - Rural Students’ Access to the Internet. (n.d.). Nces.ed.gov. https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator/lfc/internet-access-students-rural?tid=1000 ‌

General References

Lynch, M. (2017, January 21). 10 Reasons to Create Makerspaces in Your School. The Tech Edvocate. https://www.thetechedvocate.org/10-reasons-to-create-makerspaces-in-your-school/Robbin, A. (2020, August 24). The Benefits of a Makerspace in Schools. Graduate Programs for Educators. https://www.graduateprogram.org/2020/08/the-benefits-of-a-makerspace-in-schools/ Why Your Students Need a Makerspace - The STEM Maker Lab. (n.d.). Www.invent.org. https://www.invent.org/blog/trends-stem/benefits-makerspace#:~:text=Makerspaces%20foster%20innovation%20through%20hands Library, W. (n.d.). LibGuides: Learning Through Inquiry: Makerspaces, Manipulatives, and Boardgames: Makerspaces in Education. Guides.lib.campbell.edu. Retrieved October 7, 2023, from https://guides.lib.campbell.edu/learningplay#s-lg-box-8482603 ‌‌‌