Makerspace Resources

They're popping up everywhere, in schools, libraries and community centers. Maybe you're running one, or maybe you want to start one, this page is for you. It is curated collection of resources on Makerspaces. If you know of a resource not on this list, but should be, please add it to the Makerspace Reading List Submission Form.


Library 2.017: MAKERSPACESOnline conferenceWe're excited to announce our third Library 2.017 mini-conferences: "Makerspaces," which will be held online (and for free) on Wednesday, October 11th, from 12:00 - 3:00 pm US-Pacific Daylight Time


A Review of University Maker SpacesMr. Thomas William Barrett, James Madison University

Matthew Cole Pizzico, James Madison University

Bryan Levy, Georgia Institute of Technology

Dr. Robert L. Nagel, James Madison University

Maker spaces have an opportunity to revolutionize the current system by providing an extracurricular means for students to engage in more hands-on projects and develop a large range of the skills that are currently being underdeveloped. Maker spaces go beyond the traditional machine shop environment familiar to the undergraduate curriculum offering access to rapid prototyping equipment and conceptual design spaces coupled with a unique culture that can be transformative to its users. The concept of the university maker space is young, with the first dating back to roughly 2001 at MIT. Consequently, the full effect and impact of these spaces is not yet fully understood. The research presented in this paper is a first step toward doing just that by creating a review of the existing state of university maker spaces found through university website searches. This list will take into account a number of different characteristics, both unique and common, across university maker spaces in order to create a baseline that can be used to discover and capitalize on practices being implemented with the most beneficial results.
Makerspace or Waste of Space: Charting a Course for Successful Academic Library MakerspacesCandice Benjes-Small, Liz McGlynn Bellamy, Jennifer Resor-Whicker, and Lisa Vassady*In this research study, we used Brinkerhoff ’s Success Case Method to identify specific factors that contribute to effective makerspaces. Originally designed to evaluate the impact of actions on business goals, the Success Case Method (SCM) has researchers 1) identify the type of program being evaluated 2) survey existing programs to identify success and nonsuccess 3) interview success cases and 4) create recommendations based on common factors among the success cases. It is known for being simple to employ and conduct in a short timeframe. According to Brinkerhoff (2005), “Above all, the SCM is intended to help all stakeholders learn what worked, what did not, what worthwhile results have been achieved, and most important, what can be done tobetter results from future efforts” (p.90).

SCM has been used by the business world, particularly in training (“The Success Case Method,” 2010); education (Olson, Shershneva, and Brownstein, 2011); and non-profits (Coryn, 2009). We found the Coryn article to be very relevant since, like libraries, non-profits may measure success outside the financial realm. Of course, the challenge of how instead to define success must be tackled.

How does one define success for makerspaces? Stumped, we decided to survey current makerspaces and ask them! Following the SCM model, we would follow the survey with in-depth interviews with success cases, isolating factors that contributed to their success.

Making Sense: Can Makerspaces Work in Academic Libraries?John BurkeA case for pursuing an academic library makerspace and helpful steps to realize.
The Invention Studio: A University Maker Space and Culture Craig Forest Georgia Institute of Technology

Roxanne Moore Georgia Institute of Technology

Barbara Burks Fasse Georgia Institute of Technology

C. Quintero

Creativity, invention, and innovation are values championed as central pillars of engineering education. However, university environments that foster open-ended design-build projects are uncommon. Fabrication and prototyping spaces at universities are typically ‘machine shops’ where students relinquish actual fabrication activities to trained professionals or are only accessible for academic assignments to highly trained students. The desire to make design and prototyping more integral to the engineering experience led to the creation of The Invention Studio, a free-to-use, 3000 ft2 maker space and culture at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Though initially founded specifically for the Capstone Design course, the Invention Studio has taken on a life and culture of its own, far beyond just a capstone design prototyping lab. There, 1000 student users per month create things (using $1M of capital equipment), meet, and mentor each other for at least 25 courses as well as independent personal projects. The Invention Studio is centrally managed and maintained by an undergraduate student group with support from the university staff and courses. In this descriptive program implementation report, the underlying motivation, organization, facilities, outreach, safety, funding, and challenges are presented in order to guide others in the creation of similar environments. The Invention Studio’s primary uses and impacts on students are described.
Competencies for Information Professionals in Learning Labs and Makerspaces Kyungwon Koh School of Library and Information Studies, The University of Oklahoma, Email:

June Abbas School of Library and Information Studies, The University of Oklahoma, Email:

An increasing number of libraries and museums provide transformative learning spaces, often called “Learning Labs” and “Makerspaces.” These spaces invite users to explore traditional and digital media, interact with mentors and peers, and engage in creative projects. For these spaces and programs to be sustainable, it is essential that they are staffed by qualified professionals and support staff. This research study investigated the competencies required for the successful performance of professionals in library and museum learning spaces. Researchers conducted in-depth interviews with professionals working in leading learning spaces in the U.S. The findings include top competencies (e.g., ability to learn, adapt to new situations, collaborate, serve as an advocate, and serve diverse people) and skills (e.g., management, program development, grant writing, technology, and facilitating learning) required for professionals, as well as relevance of higher education to prepare them for their current positions. The study generated curricular design implications for LIS educators with an emphasis on teaching and learning with technologies.
Makers in the library: case studies of 3D printers and maker spaces in library settingsHeather Michele Moorefield-Lang

School of Library and Information Science, University of South Carolina,

Columbia, South Carolina, USA

The purpose of this paper is to describe the implementation of 3D printing and maker spaces in various library settings. Insights, challenges, successes, projects as well as recommendations will be shared. Commonalities across libraries 3D printing technologies and maker space learning areas will also explored.
Sustaining a diverse and inclusive culture

in a student run makerspace

Alexis Noel, Lauren Murphy, and Amit S. Jariwala

Georgia Institute of Technology

This paper presents some of the best practices and programs developed to foster diversity and inclusion in higher education makerspaces.
Academic Maker Spaces and Engineering DesignDr. Vincent Wilczynski, Yale UniversityThe arrival of academic makerspaces on college campuses signals an important development for engineering design education. On a growing number of campuses, traditional machine shop equipment has been combined with digital design and manufacturing tools to establish creative communities. These communities support academic, extracurricular and personal design activities under the watch of university faculty, staff, and students. As awareness of the value of academic makerspaces increases in academic and non-academic settings, a larger number of universities are developing these new facilities for learning and creating, often with unique institutional purposes. This paper reviews facilities at Arizona State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, Rice University, Stanford University, and Yale University and highlights the unique attributes of each institution’s academic makerspace.
Making as learning: makerspaces in universitiesAnne Wong

Helen Partridge

Makerspaces are more than just places to make things; a makerspace is ‘a physical location where people gather to share resources and knowledge, work on projects, network, and build’. The NMC Horizon Report: 2015 Higher Education Edition lists the time-to-adoption of makerspaces within the higher education context, as two to three years. While there is a push to include makerspaces in universities, little is known about the experience of establishing makerspaces on academic campuses. This paper provides an exploratory look at makerspaces within universities and aims to specifically address the research question: What are the experiences of Australian universities with makerspaces? A qualitative approach to data collection was undertaken by reviewing Australian university websites. Makerspaces are noted in 12 of 43 Australian universities websites (October 2015). Typically, these makerspaces employ specialist staff, contain 3D printers and laser cutters, and offer facilities to conduct coursework, personal and collaborative projects. Finally, pop-up makerspaces have been employed by some universities as an exploratory stage to gauge interest in makerspaces before implementing a permanent space. Surveying key stakeholders associated with Australian academic makerspaces is recommended as a next step.

More Resources

Beauty and the BoltVideo TutorialsBeauty and the BoltBeauty and the Bolt’s goal is to share engineering and the maker movement in a way that makes sense and is engaging to parts of the population that aren’t currently being reached out to. Who said an engineer has to look a certain way? Act a certain way? Dress a certain way? By framing the channel around Belle, one of the most subtly badass princesses, our goal is to subliminally tell people that femininity and engineering are not mutually exclusive.

Women and minorities are vastly underrepresented in the STEM workforce. Beauty and the Bolt aims to make learning engineering easy, cheap, and accessible for anyone - especially teens and young adults - while also encouraging creativity and individuality.
Unhangout for EducatorsOnline workshopsMIT Media Lab’s Learning InitiativeUnhangout for Educators is a series of five, 90-minute workshops held entirely online using a virtual workshop tool we’ve developed, called Unhangout. These workshops are participant-driven, meaning that YOU and your fellow teacher participants will shape the event together. We’re doing this because we think that a lot of valuable learning happens with and from our peers and colleagues!

A week before the workshop, you’ll receive an email with more details about the upcoming workshop, including a link to the Unhangout event. Start mulling over some questions or thoughts you have about the session theme. (For instance, have no idea what maker education even means? Great! There’s a potential conversation right there for the first session.)

During the workshop itself, participants will get a chance to propose and join breakout sessions to discuss specific aspects of the session theme. You may get to work on a rubric for creative projects, talk about the challenges of innovating your teaching, or role play classroom management scenarios in these sessions, but the possibilities are endless! (Don’t worry, we’ll provide lots of guidance on the logistics of this during each session’s kick-off.)

Fostering creativity in students
Makered ResourcesOnline repositoryMaker EdMaker Ed’s online Resource Library contains links to third-party organizations, companies, and commercial products. By including these resources, Maker Ed intends to highlight their potential value to the maker education community, rather than to provide an endorsement. The library is independently managed by Maker Ed staff, who adhere to a set of guidelines to ensure that all third-party resources are primarily informational, rather than promotional, in nature. This resource curation process is free from the influence or control of any party outside of Maker Ed.Various
A Librarian’s Guide to Makerspaces: 16 ResourcesOnline repositoryOpen Education DatabaseLearn more about library makerspaces and how one might benefit your community.Various
Makerspace ResourceOnline repositoryJohn J. Burke, MSLS, Library Director & Principal Librarian, Gardner-Harvey Library, Miami University MiddletownThe resources compiled as part of my research while writing Makerspaces: A Practical Guide for Librarians (Rowman and Littlefield, 2014).Various
Makerspace ResourcesOnline repositoryMakerspace for EducationA webpage is a collection of what to read, who to follow and other resources to help educators in their makerspace journey! Pedagogical and Physical Transformations of ​Teaching and LearningVarious
PHYSICAL OBJECTS TO TEACH BEST PRACTICES IN MAKINGOnline repositoryPrototyping LibraryThis library constitutes several years of development and is the physical product of multiple iterations of training and communication between professor and student.

There are a number of inspirations, sources, and acknowledgements that have contributed directly or obliquely to this project.

Laser Cutting
Defining Makerspaces: What the Research SaysBlog postRenovated LearningA makerspace can be anything from a repurposed bookcart filled with arts and crafts supplies to a table in a corner set out with LEGOs to a full blown fab lab with 3D printers, laser cutters, and handtools. No two school makerspaces are exactly alike, nor should they be. Makerspaces are as unique as the school cultures they represent. There is no such thing as one form of making being more valid or better than the other. Makers are artists, crafters, knitters, seamstresses, builders, programmers, engineers, hackers, painters, woodworkers, tinkerers, inventors, bakers, graphic designers and more.Pedagogy
YALSA Session Provides Learning Lab InsightsBlog postAmerican LibrariesSurvey results indicate skills needed for librarians leading the movementPedagogy
The Common Core Meets the Maker MovementBlog postRemake LearningHow maker projects jibe with the new demands placed on classroom teachers from the Common Core.Pedagogy
Makerspaces in Education & LiteracyBlog postMediumMakerspaces are popping up in schools for just that reason – to help students learn by creating and inventing their own learning!Pedagogy
Middle School Maker Journey: Top 20 Technologies and ToolsBlog postRemake LearningA true makerspace is defined not by what's in it but rather by what comes out of it: projects, experiences, artifacts, and learning.Infrastructure
What Colleges Can Gain by Adding Makerspaces to Their LibrariesBlog postMind/ShiftMakerspaces are one way a few groundbreaking libraries are trying to provide equal access to exciting technologies and skills.pedagogy
What is: makerspace, hackerspace, Fab Lab, FabLearn?Blog postSylvia Libow MartinezWhat difference does a name make?.Infrastructure
Designing a School MakerspaceBlog postEdutopiaA makerspace is not solely a science lab, woodshop, computer lab or art room, but it may contain elements found in all of these familiar spaces. infrastructure
The Makings of a Makerspace: Three ExamplesBlog post Getting SmartLindsey Own reflects on a few makerspace examplesinfrastructure
Starting a School Makerspace from ScratchBlog postEdutopiaWill purchasing a costly 3D printer and the latest robotics kit ensure learning and maker success? What are some steps to starting a successful makerspace from scratch?infrastructure
Create a school makerspace in 3 simple stepsBlog postISTEA high level how toinfrastructure
Create a school makerspace in 3 simple stepsBlog postHow to Price 3D Printing Service FeesMany libraries today provide 3D printing service. But not all of them can afford to do so for free. While free 3D printing may be ideal, it can jeopardize the sustainability of the service over time. Nevertheless, many libraries tend to worry about charging service fees.infrastructure
Albemarle County Schools’ Journey From a Makerspace to a Maker DistrictArticle EdSurge NewsInfusing making into everyday activities across the district, ensuring that students will be “making” from Kindergarten all the way up through high school.Pedagogy
ReMaking Education: Designing Classroom Makerspaces for Transformative LearningBlog postEdutopiaThe Maker movement is poised to transform learning in our schools. To counteract educational standards, testing and uniformity, this fresh approach emphasizes creation and creativity -- products and processes born from tinkering, playing, experimenting, expressing, iterating and collaborating -- and exploits new digital tools to make, share and learn across space and time, do-it-yourself (DIY) style. Museums, libraries, community centers and after-school programs have designed physical and virtual "makerspaces" to host communities of supportive peers and mentors invested in creating everything from nail polish design and webpages to jewelry and robots . . . and now, even school curriculum.Pedagogy