School Libraries and the Makerspace Movement

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School Libraries and the Makerspace Movement

So today ‘Best Teaching Partner Ever’ (Jackie Child) and myself are talking at the ‘Future Libraries’ conference about what we do in our Junior School Library. Jackie is the tech head of the two of us and my TL mum describes me as the ‘fluff and glitter’ of the operation! She’s pretty much correct actually…Jackie does the ideas and tech and I pull it all together into a deliverable form and add in some big words…thank you three degrees, I knew you’d come in handy.


Our session today focusses on how we have designed a K-6 space and program where our students enjoy literature, explore digital technologies and create, create, create in our new ‘Makerspace’ environment in the library and in our very cool outdoor space.

There is a few ‘teacher texts’ which we have found particularly useful in this whole process, and if you are looking at Makerspaces, we would highly recommend these. If you have others you would add to our list let me know by leaving a comment…and any weblinks you’ve found useful!

Click on titles or cover images to purchase.


‘Invent to Learn’ has probably been the book we’ve used most in developing the theory behind our particular makerspace in our Junior School Library. It’s very much a teacher text – and a gutsy one.


In ‘Creating Innovators’, education expert Tony Wagner explores what parents, teachers, and employers must do to develop the capacities of young people to become innovators. He profiles young American innovators such as Kirk Phelps, product manager for Apple’s first iPhone, and Jodie Wu, who founded a company that builds bicycle-powered maize shellers in Tanzania and looks at how the adults in their lives nurtured their creativity and sparked their imaginations, while teaching them to learn from failures and persevere.


‘The Art of Tinkering’ is a celebration of what it means to tinker: to take things apart, explore tools and materials, and build wondrous, wild art that’s part science and part technology. Join 150+ makers as they share the stories behind their beautiful and bold work-and use the special conductive ink on the cover to do some tinkering yourself!

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‘The Maker Movement Manifesto’ is a guide for makers, hackers, crafters, pro-ams, inventors, and entrepreneurs–from one of today’s leading figures of the Maker Movement. Mark Hatch looks at cost-effective ways anyone can use to create new product, make positive changes in society, and earn great money while they do it. This one is a ‘inspirational’ books for teachers and the parent community.


‘Unbored’ is one of those books we’ve used as both teacher text and a student springboard – lots of fabulous ideas for activities for the modern child. This one is being enjoyed by all…in fact it’s mostly been at my house, as my husband has been reading it! This is a hefty tome, packed full of hands-on activities that are the best of the old as well as the best of the new: classic science experiments, crafts and upcycling, board game hacking, code-cracking, geocaching, skateboard repair, yarn bombing, stop-action movie-making—plus tons of sidebars and extras, including trivia, best-of lists, and Q&As with leading thinkers whose culture-changing ideas are made accessible to kids for the first time. Just as kids begin to disappear into their screens, here is a book that encourages them to use those tech skills to be creative, try new things, and change the world. And it encourages parents and teachers to participate. Really love this one!

super-scratch-programming-adventure-covers-version-2 super-scratch-programming-adventure-

The ‘Super Scratch’ books above have been used entirely by Jackie and she likes them…but I wouldn’t have a clue about them…I’m the low-tech part of this duo remember?!

If you’re looking to add to your ‘making’ (as in crafting) shelves in your library as part of encouraging low tech making and tinkering, I highly recommend the following titles and have full reviews of them all….click on each title to read my full review.

‘How to Make Small Things with Violet Mackerel’

‘Lazing on a Sunday Crafternoon’

Simple sewing titles on our library shelves

Dinosaur Craft with Nonna

I also spoke today about my ‘Earth Angels’ group and how this has been a fabulous companion activity to our indoor makerspace in the library. The books I most often refer to for my ‘Earth Angels’ are here or click on the image below. I highly recommend all these books and they are super popular titles in our library.

gardening with children

School Libraries and the Makerspace Movement

Ruby Olive Megan Pink Jacket and Who Am I Book

Are you new here? Welcome to Children's Books Daily! I’m Megan Daley and you can find out more about me here and more about my offers here.

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