Chapter 16 Mobile Makerspaces by Kim Martin, Mary Compton, and Ryan Hunt; Chapter 17 Sustainability: Keeping the Library Makerspace Alive by Sharona Ginsberg; Chapter 18 The Future of Library Makerspaces by Eric Johnson

As I wrapped up reading this book it occurred to me that I’ve begun our school library’s makerspace but there is so much more to add, to do! My brain keeps thinking of new things, new problems, new…one step at a time! Chapter 16 was interesting but I don’t plan to take our makerspace on the road. Instead, like a previous chapter mentioned, I do think that items should be circulated, checked out by students and staff. Some items have too much monetary value to be allowed to be checked out, but many items would lend themselves nicely for that. I’ve already begun checking out items used in the library so that I can start to tract usage and I’ve found it’s a tool for keeping track of small items that easily get lost.

Chapter 18 was very helpful in thinking about how to keep the makerspaces up and running. For instance, the duct tape makerspace is a popular area, but can be expensive to maintain. For full classes experimenting with that space we tried measured tape, or group projects. But, recently I had two 4th graders come to the library armed with the Duct Tape book I checked out to them. They were ready to create! Some of those projects use a lot of tape. I will need to figure out how to keep that in our budget. Our principal generously bought the tape for us this school year but next year I don’t know if that’s in her budget. I’m thinking I need to write a proposal before the budget is set for next year, just for such items that need to be replenished. The chapter suggested clubs where a small fee was charged, or, having students bring in some of the supplies. That might be fun for next year! It also suggest crowdfunding or grants. I am holding my breath that I do get the grant I applied for; but I have a GoFundMe project all ready to launch if it doesn’t. I also need to consider other possibilities!

Chapter 18 also mentioned how makerspaces can be used with other instructors. I know we have a Challenge Lab (Just like a Makerspace in my opinion, just named differently) that the GT teacher, along with a para, runs for students that are being rewarded by their teacher. (The reasons vary but it’s mainly a reward system) I like that idea but I’d rather find a way to use it for projects, to sold specific problems that maybe a whole class has. I’d like to see students create products or ideas that enhance their classwork or understanding of a concept. We have several different types of makerspaces set up, some are coding and STEM related. I’d like to add others that encourage new knowledge and construction, like the duct tape space we have. I have weaving just about ready (Ah, but need yarn funding!), would like to add a sewing machine, have origami (Paper is an expense!). I will need to see about securing volunteers to help in these areas.

In the last chapter the future of makerspaces was discussed. I can foresee that the spaces will change as we add/subtract spaces, but I would like to see them grow. I liked the idea of a survey for students so their desires can be incorporated as we grow. I end this book feeling like I’ve learned a lot but there is so much more to learn and explore! I can’t wait to have time this summer to explore more of the references that were given. So many!

Chapter 15-Library Hackerspace Programs by Chad Clark

I just returned from the Texas Library Association Convention in Dallas. I’m pumped and ready to get moving to choose some new furniture for our library, add new materials and work on the Makerspaces. So, I thought I’d return to reading #the makerspace_librarian’s sourcebook. Interesting that the next chapter is about Hackerspace programs. I’ve always associated hacking with doing something bad. Ah…not so! Chad Clark says on page 288 that a hacker is, “a person who rearranges and repurposes the objects and systems around her to satisfy her curiosity and create new meaning.” Okay! So, with that definition in mind I began the chapter.

I love that the chapter divided Hackerspace programs up into units, hacking with code, hacking old hardware, physical computing, and then gave examples of each and how some libraries are implementing Hackerspace programs into the library. My first thought was that this is for older children, not elementary students. But, as I read on I saw how this could work for our library, and I don’t have to be the expert. There are ways to provide materials, guidance and support to let students make discoveries for themselves. I was especially excited about the section where taking things apart is discussed. This is how my friend Gwen taught me to add my own mother boards, memory and programs 25 years ago. I learn by doing and this type of program speaks to that.

This takes me back to arranging my library for Makerspaces. I have Wonder robots, Dot and Dash, that help students learn/use coding. My problem has been how to keep things from “walking away” and getting broken. How cool would it be to have a space where students are encouraged to take things apart and put them back together in new and unique ways!? I’ve already decided that items like the robots and littleBits have to be checkout to hold students accountable for their use and return. But, it would be fun to have items to take apart and use that could be left out and used. That was my original thought and maybe I can still do some of that. Maybe if I provide bins for materials that “expendable”, that students can use as they need to, and students could even bring items to add to the materials, I could use some of the space that I cleared out in the library originally for Makerspaces.

Okay, I got off on a tangent, but how the spaces are displayed and how students access them has been a problem for me this year. So, back to Hackerspaces…I’d love to include so ways for students to create and change things to repurpose items! I’m going to work on that! The author speaks about Hackerspaces including the same values as libraries and that they include peer-to-peer learning and cooperation by participants. That sounds like something worth adding to our library. So, we’ll call it a Fixit Clinic as the author calls one of the programs of implementing Hackerspaces.

I’m curious about how other elementary schools have implemented Hackerspaces in their libraries. Much of what was written in this chapter dealt with public libraries, even mobile library Hackerspaces! So, if anyone has done this, please share!

Chapters 12-14

I’m going to combine a few chapters in this post. Chapter 12, Computer Numerical Control(CNC) in the Library with Cutting and Milling Machines by Rob Dumas is a great introduction to electronic tools using computer software. I don’t believe our library is quite ready for this although it sounds great! I know that at least one other elementary school in our district has a program with 2 three D printers up and running. A group of 5th graders was able to make a hand for another student last year; it was pretty amazing. I believe that this requires financing through a grant or gift to get us started. When we are ready, and have more staff involved this chapter will be a great resource for beginning these endeavors.

Chapter 13, Robotics in Libraries by Antonia Krupicka-Smith is a bit more advanced than are makerspaces are at this point. However the LEGO MINDSTORM EV3 looked like a great way to connect LEGO’s and robotics. We have already acquired Dot and Dash robots and, with our Technology teacher’s help have introduced 3-5th graders to coding for these robots. They love it and we will continue to use these in our makerspaces. We have some attachments like the keyboard to add to them as students progress in their coding ability.

Chapter 14, Drones in the Library by Chad Mairn and Kristi Seferi gave a short history of drones, beginning in 1898 with the first radio-controlled boat (P. 265) to current drones that now require regulations. The authors give building, buying, and usage tips. My thought is that this is more advanced than I see our elementary school becoming in the immediate future; I can see drone being built in high schools and as special classes/workshops for public schools.

Chapter 11 littleBits, Makey Makey, Chibitronics, and More: Circuitry Projects for Libraries by Wendy Harrop

This is a short chapter where circuitry products are discussed. We have added littleBits which we used for 2 days after our ice storm. In those two days the students really enjoyed discovering how to make the circuits complete although the favorite was making the buzzer go off, loud! I discovered that small parts disappear. I was disappointed to find we were missing both motormates that make it fun to add LEGO and other items. Luckily my rep from littleBits was willing to replace them this time when I asked where I could buy just parts and not pay shipping, hoping to find something local. So, I’m thinking that I will need to checkout the kits, inventory the parts, but what a hassle! However, if the expectation is to keep parts from leaving without permission, I’ll have to do that.

On the other hand, this chapter reminded me of all the possibilities that this product and others like it offer for students. After our book fair I’ll have to get them back out and begin again!

Chapter 10: LEGOs in the Library by Megan Lotts

I was ready for this chapter! I’d love to plan a LEGO wall or table in our library. As I read through this chapter I was glad Ms. Lotts addressed the problem of things disappearing or walking away. I’ve already had this problem the first time I introduced littleBits during my 3rd,4th and 5th grade classes. The two motormates have not been located again since the 2nd day. The parts aren’t expensive but the shipping is!(the same price as the parts!) Anyway, I am grateful for this chapter. I may have to rethink where I would put this, and frankly, where the makerspaces are located.

I have a “u” shaped library as I’ve mentioned before. The circulation desk and my office are the middle. I cannot see the two ends of the U when I’m in the center. My plan was to locate the spaces in one of the tips of the U, and I’ve even considered checking into a plexiglass or some other type of see through walls. That’s still a consideration but I’ll have to check into the costs. If the spaces were more in the central area I’ll have to rethink where reading areas are located. I’m thinking now might be the right time for a survey!

Back to the chapter. Loved the short history of LEGOS; I truly had no idea they’d been around so long! The LEGO group was founded in Denmark in the 1930’s and the “Automatic Binding Brick with four and eight studs” (Lotts cited Tine Frogerg Mortensen’s “LEGO History Timeline” for this information) was created in 1949. I’m wondering why I didn’t play with them as a child. Maybe I did? I remember Lincoln Logs, but I’m guessing the red and black “bricks” we played with at my Grandparent’s house might actually have been LEGO’s?

Cleaning the LEGOS, I hadn’t thought about this at length as our students have only used them a few times. But, the flu is going around and this does need to be a consideration. I’ll have to work out a schedule and see that this happens!

I do love all the possibilities for free play, organized problem solving, community building, and creating excitement in the library. Again, my concerns seem to revolve around making too much noise for classrooms in my open library, containing the LEGOs, when they come out, and where they are housed and used. I’m sure this is a major concern for most libraries. As an interior designer my thoughts drift off to drawings, bubble designs, circulation patterns…A space plan for our library! Perhaps that needs to be my next endeavor, get the library drawn. If it’s all measured out and drawn perhaps I can work more on that when I’m not in full rotation as I am now. 7 classes a day doesn’t leave any time for drawing and dreaming! Maybe I could get my student’s ideas!

Combining Chapters 7, 8, and 9 by Jonathan M. Smith, Megan Egbert, and Tom Bruno

You don’t know what you don’t know until you know about it. Hm…I’ve heard that somewhere. In looking for that quote I now know it’s a song by Eminem but it’s so much more. I found a quote from Donald Rumsford from that Jon Raymond used in his blog,
The Unknown
As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know there are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don’t know
We don’t know.
—Feb. 12, 2002, Department of Defense news briefing
Anyhow, I digress. These three chapters, Arduino for Librarians, LilyPad, Adafruit, and More: Wearable Electronics for Libraries, and Google Cardboard for Librarians, are chapters that, like Chapter 6, I want to come back to. I believe I need to get the makerspaces going in my library before I tackle these chapters. But, The LilyPad ideas was so cool! Using e-fabric to construct wearable art, instruments, etc. is so fascinating! I think our students would love to work with these items. However, I need to be properly trained to help them. I can read about them and think I understand, but, I know I need to actually try it. I can’t wait!

So, I will get back to these chapters (6, 7, 8, & 9), especially Chapter 8, at a later date.

Raspberry Pi for Librarians Chapter 6 by Stephen M. Tafoya

I like to believe that I’m fairly tech savvy but this chapter made me panic a bit. Stephen Tafoya explains that Raspberry Pi is the whole computer system. It is flexible, affordable, single-board computer ideal for learning new computer skills. (Page 113) I believe that it would be a great tool to use with 4th and 5th grade; I’m seeing a collaboration with our Tech teacher! But, more about the book in a minute. This chapter made me realize that as much as I’ve learned about technology, I need to keep growing, especially if I want to share with students!

In 1987 my father, a nuclear scientist in the Air Force and later Sandia Corporation, decided it was time I learned to use a computer. He got out a CPU that used 5 X 5 floppies and DOS. I loved it! We played around for a week and I was off! My girlfriend Gwen, an engineer with Honeywell was home for a few years with her children and helped me advance further with a new computer. I loved taking the motherboard out, cleaning it, replacing it, learning the parts of the computer…My friend told me I knew just enough to be dangerous. Ah, but technology kept advancing. While I could understand the older computers, and had no qualms about disassembling them, I’m a bit more nervous with the new ones. They seem so compact, taking them apart could present a real challenge!

I got a little excited reading this chapter about Raspberry Pi. It made me wonder if I could once again feel like I totally understood how the computer works? Well, maybe! This chapter, well written, sources for internet sites and social sites for community exploration sound great! I’m ready to buy my parts and start exploring! However, I really believe that either I or our tech teacher would need to become more knowledgable before diving off into this Pi for the library makerspace area. So, I will circle this chapter as one to explore this summer or when I have more free time.

Again, loving that this book has so many sources listed!

Chapters 4-5 Safety, Guidelines and 3D Printing

Chapter 4, written by Kevin Delecki, and Chapter 5, Stephen M. Tafoya.

I believe that chapter 4 gives some good tips for safety in the makerspace. At this point I do not have anything more dangerous than a pair of scissors in my area. Safely using materials is always a concern. Even though I feel that my students should be able to handle using the small LEGOS I’m prepared to give my “never in your mouth” spiel. I have been considering using my Singer feather weight sewing machine. That would need to come with some definite instruction, guidance, and supervision as my students are 5-12.

Chapter 4 discusses power tools and laser cutters to name a few. While those really would tempt me, (I love using those items!) I’m not sure we’re ready for them in elementary school. If something like that came about I would need a permanent employee to supervise their use.

Chapter 5 led me into the world of 3D printing. I would love to try it. I’ve seen examples at the conferences I’ve gone to, but have never explored the websites that go with them. I did learn a lot about different types of file endings; it stand to reason that they would be different but so many!Examples are:.svg, .x3g, .stl, .obj, .thing. If we ever do venture into using a 3D printer this chapter is a good reference. It gives examples of different types of printers, how they work, materials needed, and care of the printer. I may have to explore using one; it sounds like fun.

Encouraging a Diverse Maker Culture; Chapter 3

This chapter was written by by Amy Vecchinone, Deanna Brown, Gregory Brasier and Ann Delaney

After a wild open to our school year, influenced by Hurricane Harvey, I’m ready to get back on track with my readings of The Makerspace Librarian’s Sourcebook.  Today I read chapter 3 and I first felt it applied more to Academic or Public libraries.  But as I reread my notes, I’m thinking it makes some important suggestions.   A makerspace is all about engagement and empowerment.  (P. 51-52) Their purpose in a school library is to provide a place to experiment and be creative. I noted that the authors said on page 54, “Because there is no assessment in a makerspace, there is no blame if a project doesn’t work quite right.” This sentence reminded me that this is not about grades, that these spaces are places to learn to be more creative.

I was intrigued by the section entitled “The Digital Divide and Participatory Maker Culture”. It listed tiered levels of engagement: 1 introductory, 2 displays capacity to learn more, 3 identify selves as makers, 4 feel they belong in the makerspace, 5 volunteer or ambassador for the space, and 6 volunteer and take on responsibilities for the space. I can’t wait to begin introducing our students to our space and then encouraging them to continue to grow. The chapter discusses makers growing and becoming more skilled; I look forward to watching that happen!

The chapter also discusses including the community in the spaces.  I hadn’t really thought about asking the community for help, (Other than grants!) and using the community to help the makerspaces and makers themselves, grow! If I can bring in persons in our community who have certain skills, they can give students other ways to think about solutions. The more exposure to different skill sets, the better.

The spaces are supposed to help students discover skills, develop those skills and become empowered.  As the librarian I need to encourage students with “targeting questions” and help them learn to critically reflect on what they’ve learned, built, or/and discovered.  I’m thinking this is a bit like my art classes at the University of North Texas when we did critiques.  Critiques help you grow and learn how to be better!

I’m planning to introduce our makerspaces in a week.  I look forward to students involvement and I know there will be excitement.  However, I know I need to teach them how to take care of the space, respect the classes going on around the space, and learn what might occur in the space.  So much!  I’m hoping it will happen flawlessly so we can explore more.  I’m only in rotation the first 9 weeks and because of Hurricane Harvey, it’s 2 weeks shorter! So, we’ll get them started and then hope that some of our teachers will let me work with their class in the makerspace area.



Chapter 2 Pedagogy and Prototyping in Library Makerspaces by Laura Costello, Meredith Powers, and Dana Haugh

I was ready for this chapter as I’ve begun the search for what TEKS (Texas Standards) that can be used as objectives for makerspaces in the library. This chapter discussed several pedagogical approaches that I’m already familiar with; active learning, collaborative learning inquiry-based learning, project-based learning and constructionism. (I did have to grin when on page 33 it says “Because makerspaces are free of the rules governing noise and mess in classroom, students are free to explore and test ideas without limitations.” I would LOVE this to be true but we are located in the middle of the schools with open space. Our noise level definitely affects the classrooms. I’m hoping I can come up with a noise level that will be acceptable as I don’t want to interfere with classroom learning.) The text mentions that maker education is a learner-driven process, controlled chaos. (p. 36) Prototyping is also discussed; creating a model of the intended design idea is a key focus for me.
Several instructional design models were discussed, ADDIE (analyze, design, develop, implement, evaluate), paper prototyping, and backward design. They also discuss the Eight Learning Events. I was aware of most of the other types but this was new for me. Dieudonne’ Leclercq and Marianne Poumay created this model that specifies 8 learning activities: imitate, receive information, exercise, explore, experiment, create, self-reflect, and debate. The authors suggest perhaps combining several of these models. Yes, makerspaces are for students to experience and create but they still need guidance and good lessons plans to help them achieve the desired learning goals. I like that they presented an example of a lesson plan and how knowing the goal and learning outcomes is essential for successful makerspaces.
This chapter also gives a lot of resources to help with setting goals and learning outcomes. I know that my principal has already asked me to come up with some TEKS that could be explored with some collaboration from me and our teachers. I think going through and looking at these is imperative to beginning. Also, presenting teachers with the possibilities at the beginning of the school year may help us work on collaborating more together. I believe that some of the resources need to be explored more by me before I continue. I’m going to look up the following that were mentioned:
Edutopia, a website by The George Lucas Educational Foundation
Maker Ed
The Digital Harbor Foundation
FabLearnFellows funded by the National Science Foundation
Open Educational Resources Commons (OER)
I look forward to exploring more!