November 21, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

MakerSpace: Button Maker Challenges

At The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County (OH), we have found that one of the most popular activities among our teens is making buttons. We run into a lot of our teens around town that look like this: But we started to notice that teens were just coming in, printing of a […]

Follett Launches New Maker Space Bundles for K–12 Libraries

Designed to make starting a maker space quicker and easier, the pre-packaged supplies are specific to grade levels.

SLJ Reviews the littleBits STEAM Student Set

Want to see your students get excited about science, technology, and art? Tell them you have the design to build a throwing arm. Our review of the littleBits STEAM kit.

Mobile Maker Spaces

Librarians in a Knoxville, TN school district got a grant to build four maker space carts that rotate among schools. Find out what they bought and why.

School Library Budgets Rise 20%, Yet Challenges Remain | Spending Survey 2016

On average, budgets climbed nearly 20 percent in 2015–16 to $8,315. Meanwhile, school librarians report a lack of needed funds to serve special needs children and English language learners. And OER use is up, as is the demand for nonfiction.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

My Love/Hate Relationship with 3-D Printers in Libraries

We’ve seen 3-D printers shift from cool niche products to supposed must-haves. But are we achieving the dream or just printing tchotchkes?

TPiB: MakerSpace Poetry

I love poetry. In fact, I still have all my old high school notebooks full of my very bad angst filled poetry. Occasionally, I still even add a new poem. And since April is National Poetry Month, I wanted to find a way to combine some poetry activities with the new MakerSpace at The Public […]

Sunday Reflections: My Favorite MakerSpace Moments (So Far)

Our Teen MakerSpace is in full swing now at The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County (Ohio). We have hired and trained two MakerSpace Assistants, who it turns out are incredibly awesome. And every day we have anywhere from 10 or more teens come into the space. Word of mouth is definitely spreading […]

Read It, Make It: Low-Tech Maker Projects and Titles | Nonfiction Notions

Librarian Jennifer Wharton recommends several cheap, easy, and low-tech maker activities paired with books that offer step-by-step instruction.

Big Cash Prizes for Maker Spaces Up for Grabs

Enter your dream maker space in the Department of Education’s CTE Makeover Challenge. You may just snag the money to make it happen. But hurry; the deadline is April 1.

Design Thinking Maximizes Maker Spaces

Marnie Webb’s keynote to SLJ’s Maker Workshop, a four-week online course, introduced an often-overlooked approach to launching and improving maker spaces.

LittleBits Announces STEAM Student Set at SXSWEdu

LittleBits has launched the STEAM Student Set, the first version of the popular electronic building blocks geared for the education market.

The Best of Toy Fair 2016 for Maker Spaces

Our fearless reviewer—who just happens to be SLJ’s Librarian of the Year and a maker queen—canvassed the entire Javits Convention Center in Manhattan to find the most exciting innovations coming out this year.

Lessons from New Jersey’s Annual Makers Day

Here’s how a tiny, can-do team from Piscataway, NJ started an annual tradition celebrating maker culture statewide—and how you can too.

Small Tech, Big Impact: Designing My Maker Space

How one public librarian researched, budgeted, and created the best maker space for her customers over the course of six months.

This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

SLJ’s Top Posts of 2015

From a controversial state bill to new ways to approach reading with teens and Minecraft, our top posts of the year were an eclectic mix.

STEAM Programs Sing in the Hands of Tricia Fuglestad

Lauded STEAM leader Tricia Fuglestad spells out how she makes the magic happen at the “intersection of art and science.” Circuitry projects, stop motion videos, and, of course, LEGO, are all part of the plan. She even has an idea for bolstering a common weak spot in maker spaces: sharing the learning.

SLJ’s Final Fall Maker Workshop Webcast Wows Participants

SLJ’s final fall Maker Workshop webcast gave participants an inside look at successful maker programs. Participants heard from Mick Jacobsen and Amy Holcomb of Skokie (IL) Public Library, followed by Oli Sanidas of Arapahoe Library District (CO). Denton (TX) high school librarian and maker guru Colleen Graves wrapped things up.

MakerSpace: Unconventional Printing

Look, we all know that I am obsessed with photo apps and pictures of my kids. But it’s not just for me, it’s for the teens – I swear. One of my favorite teen programs I have ever done – and I have repeated it several times – is a program called Renovate Your Room. […]

Team Blanket Making—Intergenerational programming for teens… and adults

Heather Booth discovers a new way to bring an intergenerational maker program—and benefit the community—to the Thomas Ford Memorial Library in Western Springs, IL.