An amazing makeover took place in my library this month. We transformed our library’s “Quiet Room,” a small space used occasionally for small meetings and individual testing into a makerspace, reclaiming it for student exploration and creativity. The inspiration came from spacemakers Kristina Holzweiss and Gina Seymour who spoke at a meeting of librarians at our local BOCES in December.
Having spent the last penny of my budget earlier in the school year, the contents of our makerspace this year relies heavily on the contents of my craft closet at home. We have sewing materials, yarn, glue guns, beads, art supplies, and recycled materials such as cardboard and bottle caps. I also had access to Snap Circuits and several building kits my sons were willing to contribute. Our library already owned Flip video cameras, microphones, and laptops so we were able to add some tech to the mix. In the future I hope to offer more technology.
Just as we opened the makerspace, an English teacher approached me about working with his class on a poetry project. Serendipitously, this project happened to involve making dolls to represent the poems’ themes. Bingo! Our first makerspace project was born. The room was packed from the start with students constructing their dolls. Now that this assignment is finished we are just beginning to dream up new ways students can use the makerspace. The possibilities seem endless and I’m so excited to see where this journey takes us!
Kristina A Holzweiss