Diversity, Inclusion, and Empowerment in Library Makerspaces

Wednesday, 12/6/2017
  • 12:00 PM (Eastern)
  • 11:00 AM (Central)
  • 10:00 AM (Mountain)
  • 9:00 AM (Pacific)

Blue Island Public Library (IL) Makerspace logo

One oft-overlooked aspect of making and makerspaces is its potential for empowerment, especially among populations that are otherwise marginalized or underrepresented. In this 90 minute webinar, Lauren DiMonte and Sharona Ginsberg will discuss why making is important for these populations, and what libraries can do to ensure their makerspaces are safe spaces of diversity, inclusion, and accessibility. Although makerspaces have been on the rise in libraries, there is limited talk of inclusion and how to make spaces accessible to larger populations of patrons. The presenters will each speak from their respective institutional contexts, but they will also provide specific tips and actions librarians can take, regardless of institutional type or budget. The presentation will address issues of accessibility in the sense of eliminating barriers for those with disabilities, and will address inclusion in terms of physical ability, neurodiversity, age, race and ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic status, gender identity, sexual orientation, and community status (i.e. student, faculty, etc.).

Learning Outcomes

  • Participants will understand some of the challenges or barriers makerspaces might present to marginalized groups.
  • Participants will learn about and consider methods to address these challenges.
  • Participants will consider the impact of embracing (or not embracing) diversity and inclusion in makerspaces.

Who Should Attend

 Librarians who work with makerspaces or are interested in working with makerspaces & are familiar with the concept


Sharona Ginsberg
Sharona Ginsberg headshot
Sharona Ginsberg is the Learning Technologies Librarian, SUNY Oswego. She has been working with and writing about makerspaces since 2013 when she started MakerBridge, an online community and blog about makerspaces specifically focused on libraries and schools. Sharona often writes about the subject of diversity and inclusion on the MakerBridge blog. Her work on MakerBridge earned her a Library Journal Movers & Shakers award in 2015. She recently presented on the topic of diversity in makerspaces at the National Diversity in Libraries Conference. As a librarian, she is a regular instructor and often lead technology workshops. She has presented a number of webinars in the past, including a webinar on the topic of Makerspaces in Academic Libraries for the SLA Education Division.
Lauren Di Monte
Lauren Di Monte headshot
Lauren Di Monte is the Data & Research Impact Librarian, University of Rochester. As a librarian Lauren's work focuses on facilitating critical and creative engagements with data and new technologies. She currently manages data, data science, and technology literacy programs, as well research data services, to support scholars across the disciplines. Previously, she worked at North Carolina State University, as an NCSU Libraries Fellow, where she led programs to increase diversity within STEM fields and helped develop the Libraries Makerspace instruction program. In 2017 she was awarded The Gertrude Cox Award for Innovative Excellence in Teaching and Learning with Technology.



  • LITA Member: $45
  • Non-Member: $105
  • Group: $196

Adobe Connect login info will be sent to registrants the just prior to the start date.

How to Register

Register Online  page arranged by session date (login required)


Mail or fax form to ALA Registration

OR call 1-800-545-2433 and press 5

OR email registration@ala.org

Tech Requirements

Live, synchronous lectures will require attendee participation via internet audio. Attendees will need a wired, high-speed internet connection, and a headset or speakers.  It is recommended that attendees use headsets connected to their computers (VOIP) during an Adobe Connect session. All attendees are muted and should use the built in chat function to communicate with presenters.  The use of computer speakers with a mic is not recommended, as it may cause echo. The recommended browser is Mozilla Foxfire although other browsers should work adequately for attending.


For questions about registration, contact ALA Registration:  call 1-800-545-2433 and press 5 or email registration@ala.org.

For all other questions or comments related to the course, contact LITA at (312) 280-4268 or Mark Beatty, mbeatty@ala.org.