Many obstacles of a makerspace can occur because the librarian has difficulty running the makerspace in addition to the normal demands of the library program. One way I have addressed this issue on our campus is by teaching students autonomy when using the library space on open makerspace days.
During a regular class library time, I teach all students the procedures for our makerspace so they can be independent, in case, I am not able to support them during their visit. Students are taught to enter the library, grab a timer to match the time that is written on their makerspace pass, and grab a makerspace bin. Our makerspaces are organized and labeled so students can easily grab, go, and find an empty work space. When the timer beeps, students know to clean up their space, return the bin, and head back to class. This system has allowed me to run open check-out and makerspaces even when I don’t have additional support in the library.
Utilizing parent volunteers has been another instrumental management piece of our program. My knowledge of coding and engineering is very basic, so I reached out for help. On our first makerspace sign up note, I added a place for parents to volunteer and help with our club. An engineer and a computer programmer both signed up to lead our students in these two areas.
- Trisha Hacker
Cedric E. Smith Elementary School, Magnolia ISD
Part 4 is coming soon. Stay tuned!