Makerspaces: Top Trailblazing Projects, A LITA Guide

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  • About the authors
  • Reviews

Spaces that have been designed to allow users to create, build, and learn new projects and technologies, makerspaces employ a variety of tools such as 3-D printers, AutoCAD design software, and even open-source hardware like Arduino Kits. Developing a community around shared use of space and equipment, a tenet of the makerspace movement, fits squarely into libraries' mission. Bagley examines nine makerspaces in public, academic, and school libraries, describing their design and technical decisions in depth and showing how each is doing something unique and different, under a wide range of budgets and project offerings. Enabling readers to quickly gather information about these trailblazing projects, Bagley's guide

  • Defines the makerspace, and describes why it fits perfectly into the library's role as community center
  • Answers common questions about implementing a makerspace project, detailing how libraries are addressing issues such as registration, usage policy, noise, software programs in digital workspaces, adapting spaces, funding, and promotion
  • Illustrates approaches libraries are taking to staffing makerspaces, from Anchorage Public Library's Maker in Residence and Mesa Public Library's THINKspot coordinator, to the library school students involved with University of Michigan and University of Illinois makerspace projects
  • Covers the demographics of makerspace users, from children and teens to hobbyists and job seekers, offering guidance for targeting, marketing, and programming

A sourcebook of ideas that readers can apply at their own institutions, this resource also demonstrates how makerspaces can be gathering places for people to learn how to create and build together as a community.


About Makerspaces: Concerns and Considerations

Library Makerspace Profiles

Anchorage Public Library
Brooklyn Public Library
Carnegie Public Library
Cleveland Public Library
Georgia Tech University
Mesa Public Library
Michigan Makers Group
Urbana Free Library
Valdosta State University


A: Resources
B: Makerspaces for Libraries Survey


Caitlin A. Bagley

Caitlin A. Bagley is an instruction librarian at Gonzaga University in Spokane. Her research has focused on shifting library technologies and most recently on using infographics in instruction. She has authored several articles on cloud computing and infographics. She is a 2013 ACRL Immersion Teaching with Technology graduate. Bagley earned her master's degree in library science at Indiana University.


The former Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS), the Library Information Technology Association (LITA), and the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) are now Core: Leadership, Infrastructure, Futures, a new division of ALA. Its mission is to cultivate and amplify the collective expertise of library workers in core functions through community building, advocacy, and learning.

"Bagley helps librarians and future librarians to integrate interactive makerspaces into their libraries by bringing forth the consideration of physical, technological, and monetary needs, as well as the demographics of the group being addressed by the specific makerspace. By offering examples and considerations, the readers of the book will be able to find inspiration for their own programs … Of great use to programming and outreach librarians at all levels who work with the public in schools, public libraries, and academic settings."

"This book is a powerful resource for anyone working in a library whose patrons may be interested in learning new skills and creating tangible projects related to new and emerging technologies … essential for any library considering creating a makerspace."
— Catholic Library World

"Bagley has not put together a checklist of how to set up a makerspace in your library but rather a showcase of makerspaces across the country so you can begin to envision how this unique space might evolve in your own community … Any librarian and library considering makerspaces should pick up this title, as it will help with the brainstorming process."
— Booklist