What is a makerspace?

Makerspaces are collaborative, flexible, creative spaces that enable users to experiment, ideate, innovate, test and create. In school libraries, makerspaces might be small pop-up areas, flexible multi-use spaces, or entire areas dedicated to making. Makerspaces might include technology and robotics, construction tools, Lego, 3D printers, laser cutters and cutting machines, sewing machines, prototyping materials, craft items, and so much more.

Makerspaces promote a creative mindset in students, and a space for trial and error that a traditional classroom might not support.

Makerspace with materials on a workbence and seating in the background
Makerspace with tall seating around a half-circle of soft seating, facing a screen with prototyping materials in tubs

Why makerspaces in school libraries?

I have watched with interest as makerspaces became a big trend for school libraries. However, makerspaces are certainly not a new idea. The DIY and maker culture has long existed in our society, but the push in recent years to include these innovation spaces within libraries is ideal. School libraries are flexible, collaborative, community-based spaces and that aligns perfectly with the mindset behind makerspaces. School libraries provide access and ideas for students, space to challenge, learn and create, and can offer staff and students resources and spaces not available to them in the classroom. Pairing literature with making is a wonderful way to make learning and discovering new ideas very real experiences. Situating a makerspace within a school library is an ideal partnership.

Getting started

Creating a makerspace in your school library can present both exciting opportunities and many challenges. There is now a huge range of technology, resources, how-to-guides, and even funding grants available. On this page you will find lots of ideas, tips and tricks for creating and maintaining a makerspace in your school library.


Maker Mindset

Setup and Design


Activity Ideas