Andrea Zampitella is the Library Media Specialist at Winchester High School and received a 2018 Super Librarian Award.
I started working at Winchester High School right before the school entered a three year renovation project. It was the perfect time for me to start because I was able to contribute my ideas to the design of the new library/media center. One of the rooms in the library was a designated space for a stationary computer lab. Winchester provides access to Chromebooks for student use and the school is moving towards a bring your own device model. The need for a stationary lab is becoming obsolete in my opinion. With help from our Technology Coordinator, Kathleen Grace, and various educational non-profits, such as The Winchester Rotary Club and The Winchester Foundation for Educational Excellence, we were able to transform that space into what is now known as the Creative Technology Center, our school’s makerspace.
Emily Remer is the librarian at the Michael E. Smith Middle School in South Hadley, MA.
MakerSpaces (and Maker Carts) are being implemented by libraries across the nation to support the STEAM and Maker movements and to give students the opportunity to utilize tools, devices, and supplies they might otherwise never get to experience. However, despite the enthusiasm and increase in product availability, not all school libraries can accommodate a MakerSpace – they may not have the extra room, or open periods built into the schedule when students can freely use MakerSpace supplies, or staff to oversee the hundreds of small parts, or budgets large enough to purchase thousands of dollars of products, or ongoing funding to replace lost pieces or used supplies.
I was intrigued by the concept of MakerSpaces and how they could support STEAM learning when I started hearing about them a few years ago. I wanted to support STEAM learning through some kind of MakerSpace, but when I considered developing one, I came up with a number of problems that seemed to preclude housing a MakerSpace in my library. So, I took a page from public libraries that circulate nontraditional items like ukuleles, cake pans, and fishing poles, and created STEAM to Go.
Leslie Lomasson is the Librarian at Amherst Regional High School
and the recipient of a 2017 Web Seal of Excellence.
Not all school libraries are conducive to makerspaces. Perhaps, as a librarian, you need to preserve your limited space for the academic classes that come in; perhaps the noise from a makerspace section could disrupt other classes simultaneously meeting in the library. This was certainly my dilemma when considering a makerspace in a library which hosts up to three academic classes at a time. So, I simply tucked the idea of a makerspace into the back of my mind, thinking that it probably would not work in the ARHS Library.
Seeds, unexpectedly, grow new ideas:
But it’s those seeds of new ideas that are planted (by my amazing librarian colleagues) that sometimes pop up unexpectedly as a solution to a new problem.
Cathy Collins is the Library Media Specialist at Sharon High School
Library makerspaces are creating quite a buzz these days. But how does one go about transforming spaces from blah to hurrah? On Sept. 13th, MassCUE (Massachusetts Computer Using Educators) guests from neighboring districts participated in a Learning Tour of the Sharon Public Schools library makerspaces. Assistant Superintendent of Administration and Information Services, Dr. John Marcus and I, served as co-hosts for the day, sharing our district journey from imagining and visioning to creating action plans, gathering resources and materials, scheduling formal and informal learning activities, aligning activities to standards and showcasing student creations. We stressed that ours was a journey very much in process, and encouraged participants to share their own vision along with their nuts and bolts implementation efforts. The rich sharing that took place provided fun and value for participants as well as for us as co-hosts!
Ellen Brandt is a librarian at the Blanchard Middle School in Westford, MA
On Saturday, November 7th, a group of school librarians visited the Creativity Lab at the Peabody Institute. (Thank you to Cathy Collins - MassCUE Makerspace SIG co-leader- for organizing this field trip!)