CHICAGO — Spaces that have been designed to allow users to create, build and learn new projects and technologies, makerspaces employ a variety of tools such as 3-D printers, AutoCAD design software and even open-source hardware like Arduino Kits. Developing a community around shared use of space and equipment, a tenet of the makerspace movement, fits squarely into libraries’ mission. In “Makerspaces: Top Trailblazing Projects, A LITA Guide,” published by ALA TechSource, Caitlin A. Bagley examines nine makerspaces in public, academic, and school libraries, describing their design and technical decisions in depth and showing how each is doing something unique and different, under a wide range of budgets and project offerings. A sourcebook of ideas that readers can apply at their own institutions, Bagley’s guide:
- defines the makerspace and describes why it fits perfectly into the library’s role as community center;
- answers common questions about implementing a makerspace project, detailing how libraries are addressing issues such as registration, usage policy, noise, software programs in digital workspaces, adapting spaces, funding and promotion;
- illustrates approaches libraries are taking to staffing makerspaces, from Anchorage Public Library’s Maker in Residence and Mesa Public Library's THINKspot coordinator, to the library school students involved with University of Michigan and University of Illinois makerspace projects;
- covers the demographics of makerspace users, from children and teens to hobbyists and job seekers, offering guidance for targeting, marketing and programming.
Bagley is an instruction librarian at Gonzaga University in Spokane. Wash. Her research has focused on shifting library technologies and most recently on using infographics in instruction. She has authored several articles on cloud computing and infographics. She is a 2013 ACRL Immersion Teaching with Technology graduate.
The Library and Information Technology Association (LITA), a division of ALA, educates, serves and reaches out to its members, other ALA members and divisions, and the entire library and information community through its publications, programs and other activities designed to promote, develop, and aid in the implementation of library and information technology.