A  Makerspace Guide for Librarians

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What is a makerspace? Simply put, a central location for creative endeavors. As public libraries have changed from becoming archival resource centers to interactive learning and community centers, the makerspace concept has become an important development.

Maker spaces essentially promote learning through play. In a typical makerspace you will find simple hand tools and materials to work with metal and wood.  But a makerspace is not just for tech tinkerers. Promoting artwork, a makerspace may offer drawing materials or sculpting materials from clay to crayons.

Crafts are encouraged with laminators and paper cutters for creating paper projects, or even a bevy of craft odds and ends from buttons to string for inspiration.

In the end, it’s not the equipment that is important, but rather what the overall space promotes.

If you are a librarian looking to create a makerspace, start with this list of objectives:

  • Foster play and exploration
  • Facilitate informal learning opportunities
  • Nurture peer-to-peer training
  • Work with community members as true partners, not as users or patrons
  • Develop a culture of creating as opposed to consuming.

Whatever space you develop within the library, it should encourage all of the above.

Bringing  Kids Back to Paper in the Makerspace

Crafts with paper re-engage kids with  the tactile aspects of art. An inexpensive laminator can help kids (and even adults) create fun and interesting crafts.

Make sure you get a laminator that is safe around kids and that has the versatility for lots of users.

Other Laminator Options for a Makerspace

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Callisto 125

  • Advanced system allows users to change between different pouch and document thicknesses without waiting-Great for varying pouch projects
  • Hot lamination for 3- or 5-mil pouches as well as cold pouches
  • Reverse mode disengages pouch for re-centering or removal
  • Unique HeatGuard Technology™ keeps heat inside so laminator is comfortable to touch-Keeps kids safe around the laminator
  • 12-1/2” entry width accommodates multiple document sizes
  • Ready in 5 minutes, laminates in one minute
  • Auto shut-off prevents overheating when not in use

 

Need inspiration for laminating projects? Offer these fun and free laminating templates at your Makerspace.

Reintroducing kids to paper books

A makerspace in a library also gives children the opportunity to write and illustrate their own books outside the classroom. Provide an easy to use binding machine as part of your makerspace so kids can be literary creative.

The best binding machine for a makerspace should be easy to use.

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Starlet 2 Plus

  • Light duty comb binding machine for personal use
  • Manually punches up to 12 sheets at a time
  • Binds up to 120 sheets with a 5/8” comb
  • Enhanced accuracy edge guide for pinpoint punch alignment
  • Document thickness / comb guide helps user select proper comb width

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