Maker-spaces in libraries

Libraries used to be all about books and it is interesting to watch their nature shift over time. One of those shifts is an increasing level of activity in making libraries into centers for STEM and STEAM activities such as learning coding. Many libraries are also including maker-spaces – something which makes a great deal of sense, but is open to wide interpretation as what it actually means.

For example Woollahra Library is now running a Mini Makers Club in May which runs the gamut from craft through to coding. (More info on their site).

Woollhara are far from alone in this though and it mirrors increasing commercial activity in providing access to Maker Spaces. I visited Tinker Tank in Manly last week and it is fabulous. It’s like the love-child of a start-up and a school with great atmosphere, a cool space, and some fun learning going on.

The missing thing in most of these spaces, though, remains access for older kids. Generally after the age of 12 you have few options available to you – and that’s a real lack.

It is in this sort of environment where the ‘A” in STEAM makes some sense, where you can harness technology and creativity to do fun and fulfilling stuff. Really forward-thinking schools ought to be giving serious consideration to how they can incorporate both maker-spaces and the thinking behind them into their buildings and curriculums. And ties to the library may well be a natural starting point – if for no other reason than the library cuts across the subject boundaries which seperate maths teachers, from art teachers, from engineering teachers, and so on.

Here’s what Woollhara Libraries have planned for May:

Mini Makers Club- Get Crafty
Watsons Bay Library
8 Marine Parade, Watsons Bay NSW 2030
Free
Ages: 6-10 years
Wednesday 3rd May

Mini Makers Club- Coding with Code Rangers*
Paddington Library
247 Oxford St, Paddington NSW 2021
$5.00pp
Ages: 8-12 years
Tuesday 16th May

Mini Makers Club- Coding with Code Rangers*
Woollahra Library at Double Bay
451 New South Head Road, Double Bay NSW 2028
$5.00pp
Ages: 8-12 years
Thursday 18th  May

Maker Creator- Web App Development*
Woollahra Library at Double Bay
451 New South Head Road, Double Bay NSW 2028
$10.00pp
Ages: 12-18 years
Thursday 25th May

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