The Advocate's Toolbox


Where the Magic Happens: library maker programs
From scanning human teeth to designing clothes, making sparks ingenuity in students.
3-D Printing: Worth the Hype?
What is 3-D printing exactly, and how does it serve kids? Here’s a walk-through.
Craft Work: the value of making by hand
Quilting, knitting, and creating by hand foster collective learning. Plus: Top 10 crafting tips; Five outstanding crafting programs
How to Ensure that Making Leads to Learning
Making is clearly an engaging activity for students. But are they actually learning anything? Annie Murphy Paul presents a compelling case based on cognitive research.
Coding Skills Empower Us All
We’re not coding in schools so that every kid can get a tech job; we’re doing so to give all kids the chance to understand and interact with the technologies in their lives.
Ready to Learn Coding? Here are resources. Plus: Teaching with Scratch
Resources for learning to code online and face to face, from Khan Academy to Black Girls Code; and suggested lesson plans using Scratch.
Maker Bookshelf: A starter collection for current and aspiring makebrarians
A selection of titles that support coding, robotics, tinkering, and more maker activities.
Hands-on Projects and Titles that Celebrate Maker and Latino Cultures
Making and tinkering have long-been staples of the Hispanic community. Tim Wadham shares Spanish-language, bilingual, and Latino-focused books and crafts that are just right for maker spaces looking to diversify their offerings.
3-D Printers: Understanding Copyright, Fair Use, and More
An ALA information policy analyst outlines the legal issues relevant to 3-D printing in public and school libraries—and explains why librarians should lead the way in creating acceptable use policies for this technology.
Make It So: Building on the Impulse to Create
The maker movement has taken our culture by storm, and libraries have been stepping up with programs large and small. While some might not view storytime craft projects—such as paper daffodils—as maker, others recognize their vital place on the creation continuum. We at SLJ see the SLJ_CV_May2015nimble response from the library world and recognize how much remains unknown or untested.

Makers & Shapers

Urban Farming Elevates St. Louis Schools
Gardening, farming, and keeping bees are par for the course at schools in the Maplewood Richmond Heights District.
How Brooklyn Special Ed Students Built a Library
Students at a Brooklyn vocational school and occupational training center constructed furniture for themselves and their library. They’re part of a movement empowering people of all abilities to create and build.
MakerBridge Site and Blog Show Diversity in Maker Movement
Being a maker is about independence and empowerment, says MakerBridge Project founder Sharona Ginsberg. Focused on making in libraries and schools, the site features tech tips, tool reviews, and variety of resources and profiles.
Tips for Top-Notch Stop-Motion Workshops
Strong apps and fun working materials are key to great stop-motion projects with kids. But good planning and inspired book tie-ins can carry the day.
Evolution of a Maker Space, From “Monstie Stuffie” Projects to a Giant Catapult
Colleen Graves, SLJ Maker Workshop speaker and 2014 School Librarian of the Year Finalist, describes how her little middle school library maker space grew to encompass an inter-school catapult challenge, an international network, and the support and enthusiasm of teachers.

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