Launching a Makerspace: Lessons Learned From a Transformed School Library
Excitement about school makerspaces has been in the air, but many educators eager to create hands-on learning spaces in their schools still aren’t sure how to get started or why it’s worth the effort. New Canaan High School librarian Michelle Luhtala recently jumped headfirst into creating a makerspace in her library and documented what she learned, how her space changed and how it affected students along the way. Her experience was very different from elementary school librarian Andy Plemmons, whose makerspace started with a 3-D printer obtained through a grant and blossomed into a core teaching resource at his school. Luhtala is blessed with a big library, but for most of her career it has been dominated by large bookshelves. Over time, Luhtala has pared down her collection as she increased the digital reading material the library offers, but in order to make room for a makerspace she cleared out 7,000 books. A floor plan of shelving in Luhtala’s library in 2011.
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