Connections in a
Library Digital Experience Developer
• Physical space
• Tools and technologies
What is a MakerSpace?
“By providing the space and the means
of making, libraries can spur learning,
invention, creativity, and innovation”
(Burke & Kroski, 2018, p. 2).
Makerspace management styles (Barrett et al., 2015)
Manage 3D printing service
Maintain and repair 3D printers
Check in and out equipment
Create a positive and welcoming atmosphere
Learn from each other
Work on projects
Make Tobe Mobile Again
3D Printing for Accessibility
• Regular library workshops on
• Entry level
• Students & staff
• Outreach lectures around
specific themes (VR, video
production, 3D design) or
• Guest lectures & workshops
• Audio & Video
• Digital Art
• Virtual Reality
• Laser Cutter
• Vinyl Cutter
• 3D Printers
• 3D Scanner
Build a modular gaming controller with Byowave
Ultimate Pumpkin Carving Design a 3D Printable Cookie Cutter
• Not (necessarily) a case of build it and they
• Equipment and workshops can initially
• Projects encourage development of
community of practice
• Students want to be involved, need
guidance/training and trust
• Library investments in space, money, and
personnel are keys to success
Barrett, T. W., Pizzico, M. C., Levy, B., Nagel, R. L., Linsey, J. S., Talley, K. G., Forest, C. R., &
Newstetter, W. C. (2015). A review of university maker spaces. ASEE Annual Conference and
Exposition, Conference Proceedings, 122nd ASEE(122nd ASEE Annual Conference and
Exposition: Making Value for Society). https://doi.org/10.18260/p.23442
Brooks, D. C. (2018, August 8). The Campus of the Future. Educase Review.
Burke, J. J., & Kroski, E. (2018). Makerspaces: A Practical Guide for Librarians (2nd ed., Vol.
38). Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
Fourie, I., & Meyer, A. (2015). What to make of makerspaces: Tools and DIY only or is there
an interconnected information resources space? Library Hi Tech, 33(4), 519–525.
Mestre, J. (2020). The troubling trend of academic makerspaces. Public Services Quarterly,
16(4), 273–279. https://doi.org/10.1080/15228959.2020.1819937
Zhan, Q., Chen, X., & Retnawati, E. (2022). Exploring a construct model for university
makerspaces beyond curriculum. Education and Information Technologies, 27(3), 3467–
Physical space: there is a physical location which individuals visit to collaborate in person. Community: the existence of the physical space, leads to the development of a community around the space and the development of a culture of making. However it isn’t necessarily a ‘build it and they will come scenario.’ The space is maintained and progressed by the community itself but must be championed and guided. Tools and technologies: tools to which users would otherwise not have access are made freely available, or available for a small fee.
The structure of many makerspaces follows an approach similar to the “platform” business model. Tools are laid out by the library, training is provided, and technology is accessible for students to come in and use as they please (Mattern, 2014). There is a concern that such a model of operation within the academic library risks reducing library staff to technicians and takes valuable time away from more traditional tasks. Such a risk is mitigated by the existence of specific staff whose roles are dedicated to the space and who can help to nurture a community of practice.
From Makerspaces: A Practical Guide for Librarians “…a space that is dedicated to both the tools for making and the discovery of talents for creativity and design, where people can make digital or physical items using tools and equipment that they do not own and where they can receive guidance on using them…By providing the space and the means of making, libraries can spur learning, invention, creativity, and innovation” (Burke & Kroski, 2018, p. 2).
User base is attends workshops and supervised while using tools, services are provided by staff members. Heavy demand on staff time in developing teaching resources and delivering services.
User base is connected through a space facilitator so they can teach each other essential skills and use tools. Disadvantage: library staff primarily become technicians, servicing tools. In a student environment learning can be limited to students of certain disciplines who already have basic knowledge, limited opportunity for interdisciplinary interactions.
User base is connected based on advanced or specific needs, there is limited supervision while using tools, services are provided by users and staff, workshops provide opportunities for students from multiple disciplines to learn basics of tools and join user base eventually becoming workshop facilitators or service providers themselves. Still a demand on staff time but not as heavy.