While it is easy to get carried away brainstorming ideas for activities, there are important considerations that will support the space’s development. For one, a physical space is required, however temporary. And secondly, reliable access to necessary equipment and technology is important. The scale of the space and activities must be gauged according to existing physical and financial limitations. However, that should not preclude you from seeking external funding and in-kind donations to achieve the desired goals. In this regard, funding efforts should be aligned with the development of the space as it was envisioned. Finally, evaluation and assessment are critical not only to optimizing the impact of a space, but in securing continued support, financial and otherwise, from collaborators, funders, and organizational leadership. With these factors well in hand, you will have a strong foundation from which to build a learning commons.
6 Strategies for Funding A Maker Space by Paloma Garcia-Lopez
A helpful tool with ways to fund a maker space beyond going to the city to fund a new maker space. Many libraries request funds from city council or a school board for additional funds that often are not granted. The best suggestions the author offers are applying for grants and starting a campaign to raise funds. (Rachel)
Regional Campus Learning Commons: Assessing to Meet Student Needs by Nancy Dryden and Shelley Goldstein
A study of a variety of assessment models to evaluate the learning commons features and services at the regional campuses at the University of Connecticut. (Sisi)
Assessing Efficacy of Learning Commons, Florida State University, Instructional Systems (2013)
“Originally intended to be a versatile computer and media lab for instructional systems courses with a specialization in digital production and dissemination, the space was found to be less than nurturing in its support of the original vision. The room was, in effect, designed without understanding the needed intent. Our goal was to provide a space for developing systems to evaluate how people learn, providing systems to help people engage in this learning. The lab needed to be deconstructed, literally and figuratively, from its austere and semi-functional layout into a more highly interactive studio; not simply individualized, but a highly social, context-dependent and collaborative achievement.”
Dawkins, J., & Shute, V. J. (2013). Stars vs. Clouds: Creating a Collaborative Commons Learning Space. International Journal of Designs for Learning, 4(2).
Makerspace: Is It Right for Your Library?
What is a makerspace? What are some kinds of makerspace activities? How do you know if it’s right for your library? How do you tailor your activities to meet your demographics interests and/or physical spaces? How to you make connections to support operating a makerspace? The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library started offering music production when local schools were eliminating music programs.
Success Indicators for Makerspaces, Maker Mania by Melissa Malon (2014)
“Makerspaces are dedicated areas designed for people to collaborate on projects; often, they also include the necessary materials and equipment for the design and building of projects. While makerspaces have been around for several years, they are becoming more popular than ever in academic libraries. The resources reviewed in this column include examples of successful makerspaces.” Provides overview of successful makerspaces and popular equipment.
Mallon, M. (2014). Maker Mania. Public Services Quarterly, 10(2), 115-124.
Makerspaces in Libraries: Legal Issues by Mary Minow
This PowerPoint presentation helps libraries and users navigate copyright, patent, trademark, 3D printer policies, and legal documents associated with 3D printers.
Intellectual Property Considerations for Makerspaces (2015)
Comprehensive overview of all legal and compliance requirements directly related to makerspace activities. Slides presented at the 2015 Ontario Library Association Super Conference in Toronto, Ontario.
Austin, M., McNally, M. B., & Trosow, S. E. (2015, January). Intellectual property, makerspaces and 3D printing. Slides presented at the 2015 Ontario Library Association Super Conference, Toronto, Ontario.
Only Connect: A Rubric for Determining Makerspace Readiness by Kate Dillon (2015)
This narrated PowerPoint presentation synthesizes findings of makerspace surveys to produce a rubric organizations can use to assess their current abilities to create successful makerspaces. The rubric focuses on eight key areas: culture, collaboration, opportunity, policy, space, users, equipment, and evaluation. Yes/No questions not only identify the degree of makerspace readiness, but offer actionable steps to support organizations in moving towards makerspace readiness.
Rubric: Rubric for Makerspace Readiness