Maker Monday - Creating a Makerspace Environment

The WGS library is getting a Maker Makeover this Spring. 
Consider this, the school library was built in 1989.  My mind boggles at the tremendous shifts in libraries during those 26 years, and even more at the changes to come in the next 5 years.  It won't happen all at once, but I am slowly transforming our space to allow for more collaborative, multipurpose, and flexible use of space. 

With limited funding, I have agonized over how to prioritize my vision for updating the library.  This has been a very successful grant year that has included over $3,500 for new books and over $9,000 for technology needs.  I expanded the Maker style learning in our library to include semester long projects that span a variety of STEM and non-STEM topics.  But, we have definitely felt the pain of not having a designated "Makerspace" in our library if only for storage and easy access to materials. 

One of my main tenets of libraries is that they are places for collaborating with others.  Therefore, the large footprint of a 9-seat individual study carrel behemeth in the back of my library was always a provocation to my senses.    In fact, I loathed it so much, I guess I never even took adequate pictures of it.  Here's one from our library showcase a few weeks ago.  Note the tall partition walls and the cramped work space consumed by the CPU. 

Then, there is this picture of two boys trying to collaborate on a video game software they are using.  See how one has to lean around the partition to see the other person's screen? 

Maybe if the library was twice the size, I would want individual study areas, but we are just too small and too well behaved :) for that much space to be used in this limiting way.

Thank you School Library Journal and LEGO
Thanks to a generous grant from School Library Journal and LEGO, I was able to purchase these updated computer tables.

My favorite features:  no partitions, smaller footprint, and the monitor, keyboard, and mouse can all be lowered into a secure cabinet below when we want more table space.  The flow of the library is no longer obstructed by a giant piece of furniture meant to separate us from each other.   In the past, I avoided putting anyone on the back wall of the computer carrels because it was so hard to see if they needed help, or get to them when they did.

Makeover in Progress
This maker makeover is still in progress.  The green screen will be moved to the end of the cabinet by the exterior door.  It will be installed on a curved rod that will allow us to extend it when needed and tuck it discreetly between the  counter and cart when we don't. 

A wall of cubby storage is purchased and planned for the space where the green screen is temporarily placed now.  Having access to our Maker projects and tools without needing to go to the back office, or pile everything on a cart will be such a luxury and a benefit to our learning process. 

Beyond Makerspaces...
The update to this area also makes it possible for me to dream of how the remaining space can be updated to accommodate more collaborative and comfortable learning spaces. 

I'll be looking for funding over the next year to bring these updates to the library:

Node Seating - flexible, collaborative, and tech-ready
I sat in these chairs at an Edcamp in Birmingham and LOVED them. The seat was comfortable, the arm rests were cozy, and the tray was large enough to hold plenty of materials.  That's an iPad holder at the front of the tray and they come with optional cup holders perfect for the cups I already use at library tables for miscellaneous supplies like pencils, crayons, glue sticks, scissors, etc.  I especially love the flexible configurations of seating this will allow.
Reading Lounge
It may seem to some that I am all about the technology, but I still love to read and promote reading in my school library.  A reading lounge would be my next big library makeover project. I'm a little less clear about what this area would look like, but I know that it would include functional and comfortable seating that would be easy to move and encourage sharing.
Some of the contenders:

Opposing Lounge Seating from The Library Store
Updated Egg Chair from Creative Library Concepts

More than a footstool from Creative Library Concepts 
Highway Modular Seating from Demco
Arcadia Serafina from Demco


Eleganza Sofa from School Outfitters

I dream big, but what's the point of dreaming any other way?


Leena Roy said...

Wow thank you this is just what I have been looking for - great work :-) plz chek my blog

Classroom Desks & Classroom Furniture & Classroom Tables

Leena Roy said...

I really enjoy reading and also appreciate your work.

Standing Desks & Classroom Tables & Computer Tables


Nice tables. new year images 2017

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