Gallery Room 6: Staffing Support


Staffing at Learning Commons and Makerspaces can be achieved in creative and effective ways.  Some spaces are directed by librarians, faculty, para-professionals, learning specialists, information technologists, and other professional staff.  There are other models wherein students, interns, project facilitators, and creators operate spaces that are successfully managed as well.  Staff must create environments that encourage exploration, creation, and collaboration in order for users to feel confident and supported in their work.  Whether in libraries or as organizations in the community, the creation and sustainability of  Learning Commons and Makerspaces depends on cooperation, collaboration, and many hands and minds. Here are some resources that offer suggestions and models for staffing Learning Commons and Makerspaces.

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 9.28.37 PMLA Makerspace: Based in the city of Los Angeles, CA this organization is one of the many ways makerspace promote science, technology, engineering, art, and math or as the they like to call it STEAM, for both adults and children. This organization is also heavily involved with the LA city library by providing workshops at their various branches. In this website you’ll be able learn more about the organization. (Adriana)

Student Involvement for Student Success: Student Staff in the Learning Commons by J. Mitchell & N. Soini, (2014).  College & Research Libraries, 75(4), 590-609. doi:10.5860/crl.75.4.590   This article deals specifically with a study of how Learning Commons coordinators train and guide the student personnel in order to maintain peer to peer management of these spaces. (Sisi)

Heitsch, E. & Holley, R. (2011). Information and Learning Commons: Some Reflections. New Review of Academic Librarianship. 17, 64-77. This article talks about the challenges in planning a learning commons area in the academic library as well as imagining what the possibilities are in the future of library spaces and services. (Molly)

Tout, D.,Pancini, G, & Mccormack, R. (2014). Using Mobile Peer Mentors for Student Engagement: Student Rovers in the Learning Commons. Higher Education Research and Development. 33(3), 595-609.  This article that addresses how the changes in a library Learning Commons affects the staff who work in the library. This particular article focuses on student employees. The authors highlight the importance of sudents helping other students in a vibrant, collaborative learning space. (Rachel)

Boise State has a Collaborative Lab, managed by both the Digital Access Unit and Access Services. The Digital Access Unit manages the technology and the programming and training surrounding the makerspace type activities. Access Services is involved in helping arrange spaces for these activities. Staff place the 3D prints done for patrons on the hold shelves with our hold/paged books and students pick them up at the Circulation Desk. Access Services also manages the lab assistant student employees and they are trained on how to operate and use some of the makerspace technology to help patrons. They also have a group of volunteer students who help. There is a “creative technologies association” on campus and these students are very eager to get involved with the makerspace.  Access Services partnering with the Digital Access (or tech group) is a good fit for managing and staffing the makerspace places. They are still figuring out how they want to run it and to be supervised/staffed but Access Services is a part of the conversation around the planning and development stages of the project. (Molly)

Managing Behavior in an Alternative Learning Environment:  Challenges and Successes by Sari (Blogpost)
An anecdote by a maker educator on how to manage distracting activities while maintaining a respectful and creative environment. (Sisi)
Future of Library Services for and with Teens report coverThe Expert-Based Staffing Approach to Library Programs by Nicola McDonald  Explores the staffing models (the Maker Jawn approach) used at The Free Library of Philadelphia. (Sisi)

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