Buffy Hamilton on School Libraries and Makerspaces

Get comfortable, because you'll want to spend a lot of time viewing Buffy Hamilton's presentation. I took some notes hoping to give a brief summary. I gave up after filling my third page. Here are just a few things that I'd like to highlight, but you really need to view every slide! Buffy begins by highlighting the natural overlap of school libraries and makerspaces: inquiry, problem solving, and networked learning. The school library is a place to create, collaborate and consume; a culture of creating. I love this quote: "Makespace culture supports the mission of libraries to enable lifelong learning and to support knowledge creation in their communities." (Slide 16) She clarified something I've thought about but never articulated: the makerspace is a spot in school where communities can form around interests. In my mind, the library makerspace is possibly the ONLY place in middle school where this takes place. We only did a shortened month of makerspace in our library, but I was struck every day by the juxtaposition of students that would never have had social interactions otherwise. Makerspaces give students a place to expand their social sphere with students in other classes or grades. In middle school, when students can be so painfully afraid of making social gaffes, making things side by side seemed to remove those unspoken social barriers, at least for that lunch period. Buffy's presentation includes examples for makerspaces in all school libraries, and certainly sparked some ideas for me for next year! I particularly liked the Idea Box, maybe using it as a monthly student-designed display area. Slides 85-91 include Buffy's Steps for Success with tips to ensure your makerspace starts out right. Please explore Buffy's Slideshare! I hope it inspires you as much as it did me. (Images 1-3 are from Buffy's Slideshare; image 4 from my library.)

I run a middle school library, in the golden age of children's and young adult books! There is not enough time in the day to read all of them, but I will share what I can.
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