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IST 605: Makerspaces 101

Resources for librarians and educators about makerspaces.


This research guide offers resources to librarians, classroom teachers, school administrators, and other educators about the topic of makerspaces. Makerspaces are collaborative spaces in which are designed and dedicated for hands-on exploration and creativity. Within these spaces, individuals are making, creating, inventing, discovering, building, tinkering, exploring, and designing. No two makerspaces are alike nor should they be. Makerspaces can consist of different tools, materials, technology, physical layouts, or individuals. Makerspaces are not defined based on what tools or materials it has, instead a makerspace is defined by what the space enables–making. There is no one form of making that is more valid or better than the other. Makers are bakers, coders, builders, inventors, painters, drawers, engineers, seamstresses, woodworkers, computer programers, and more. Makerspaces can help to foster creativity, collaboration, problem-solving, critical thinking, divergent thinking, creative thinking, and the ability to solve complex problems within makerspace users. Additionally, makerspaces allow for a student-centered, hands-on learning approach that is accessible to ALL students. Makerspaces have become increasingly common to see in learning environments such as classrooms, school libraries, public libraries, colleges/universities, and academic libraries.

***It is important to note that this research guide is not an exhaustive list of sources, instead this research guide touches on only some of the resources available on the topic of makerspaces.

Search Strategies

Search Engines:

Keywords and Terms to Search:

  • Makerspaces
  • Fablab
  • Techshop
  • Hackerspace
  • Educational makerspaces
  • Maker movement
  • STEM/STEAM activities

Helpful Tips:

  • Use advanced search features when available
    • Advanced searching allows for more precise searches, saves time, and improves the quality of information retrieved
  • Use boolean operators in your search
    • use "AND" to narrow your search and retrieved records containing all of the keywords specified
      • e.g. "makerspace AND STEAM"
    • use "OR" to broaden your search and retrieve results containing any of the keywords
      • e.g. "Makerspaces OR fablabs OR hackerspaces"
    • use "NOT" to exclude a particular keyword from your search
      • e.g. "makerspaces NOT academic libraries"
  • To search for an exact phrase, use quotation marks around the phrase
  • Check the references and footnotes in sources to find additional resources
  • Always evaluate search results for authority, reliability, and currency!