27 Jan 2019

Maker Mindset in the Library

Our Elementary students have embraced the maker mindset in the library. Students visiting the library during class time or in their free time are diving in to investigations and play with a variety of materials. As a school, ASD has defined what "maker" means to us:

Maker Mindset @ ASD:

Question everything. Be curious. Think with your hands. Embrace failure.
Explore. Create. Tinker. Invent. Design. Experiment. Construct. Play. DO!

And how do we bring this mindset to life in the library? Through student choice and agency; students can drive their own learning and pursue personal interests. A variety of books, digital tools and materials are available and the students bring their own ideas and questions.

Over the first semester, we observed students elevate their creativity, work cooperatively and push their play to new heights. They are often using multiple materials in their creations such as building mazes for beebot robots, making tents to climb inside and read, designing a soccer game with Spheros and Keva planks and building a Christmas tree with dowels, rubber bands and art materials.

When classes visit the library, students choose from our "ASD Library Daily Menu." Students are able to make a choice as to which activity is right for them on that particular day.

Students practice making choices - one day may be book selection, another may be continuing a project with a friend and another it may be some independent exploration. Teachers and librarians support students in finding a balance that is best for each individual learner.

Libraries around the world are expanding learning opportunities for their patrons - both school and public libraries. As a K-12 Library team, we continue to research best practice for libraries around the world, and we continue to listen to and observe our unique community of learners. 

An article from Edutopia by Josh Weisgrau outlines some important reasons why libraries are becoming champions of the maker mindset:

  • Makerspaces and libraries are sites of informal learning.
  • Libraries and makerspaces are inherently interdisciplinary spaces.
  • Libraries and makerspaces provide equitable access to materials and resources.
  • Makerspaces and libraries are more than just resource closets.
  • Libraries and makerspaces serve the common goal of building community.