5 Ways to Get Your Makerspace Ready for a New Year

5 Ways to Get Your Makerspace Ready : A new school year means new opportunities to get your makerspace ready for students. Here's some tips and tricks for sprucing things up and starting the year off strong.

It’s that time of year again – the first days of the school year will soon be upon us (and for some of you, it may already be here).  Getting ready for the year means pre-planning meetings, making photocopies, arranging class schedules and all the other good stuff that comes in August and September every … Read more

How to Create Conversation Zones to Support Learning Styles

How to Create Conversation Zones to Support Learning Styles : Our libraries support a variety of learning styles and activity. By creating conversation zones, we can better support the learning needs of ALL our students.

At Stewart, we had a pretty loud library.  There were robots racing through the stacks, the rustle of tubs of LEGOs being dug into, and the chatter of excited students talking about their favorite books and collaborating on projects.  At my current school, the previous culture of the library had been one where a whisper … Read more

How to Choose Books to Support Your Makerspace

How to Choose Books to Support Your Makerspace // Books are an essential part of any makerspace. Here's advice on how to choose the right books for your particular makerspace and school.

Why We Need Books in Makerspaces Books play an essential role in all makerspaces, whether they are in the library or not.  Instructional books can support students in learning complex skills and tools. Project books can give ideas and inspiration for what to make next.  Art books can provide visual inspiration.   Professional development books can … Read more

The Renovated Learning Philosophy of Makerspaces

The Renovated Learning Philosophy of Makerspaces // Putting into words your ideas and philosophy on a particular concept isn't always easy. In this post, I attempt to articulate my own personal philosophy on makerspaces in schools.

Writing a post like this isn’t easy.  I feel like I know in my heart what my philosophy on makerspaces is, but putting it into tangible statements seems harder.  So I started thinking about this more as a manifesto – if I was to make a grand statement about what I feel the value of … Read more

Read This Book: Keep Going by Austin Kleon

Read this book: Keep Going, by Austin Kleon // If you are human, you are creative. This book helps you with learning how to keep going and stay creative even when it feels like everything is going wrong.

I’ve been a fan of Austin Kleon’s work for several years now.  Steal Like an Artist had a huge impact on me as an educator and I frequently quote it in my conference presentations.   Show Your Work helped me to better understand the importance of sharing what I’m doing (like right here on this blog). … Read more

3 Myths About Libraries, Makerspaces And Books

3 Myths About Libraries, Makerspaces and Books : The are many misunderstandings and misconceptions about how school libraries and makerspaces co-exist - this post addresses 3 of the myths surrounding makerspaces, libraries and books.

3 Myths About Libraries, Makerspaces and Books Even though they’ve been around since 2013, school library makerspaces still have a lot of misunderstandings surrounding them.  This confusion can come from administrators, teachers, students and the librarians themselves. Unfortunately, believing these myths can often cause decisions to be made about libraries that are detrimental to the … Read more

6 Tips for Creating Effective Digital Surveys for Schools

6 Tips for Creating Effective Digital Surveys for Schools: You can't make appropriate changes at your school without all the data, and using surveys with your teachers and students is a great way to gather it. It also gives an opportunity for your stakeholders to have a voice in your school

You can’t design a library space and program that meets the needs of your teachers and students if you don’t know what those needs are.  It’s hard to develop an effective library collection if you have no idea what genres and books your students want to read. Using surveys with your teachers and students can … Read more

Genrefication: How to Organize Your Fiction Collection by Genre

Genrefication: A Guide to Genrefying Your Fiction Collection - In this post, I share what I learned from genrefying the fiction section of my library and offer tips and advice for your own genrefication project.

How I Organized My Fiction Collection by Genre At the end of the 2017-2018 school year, I genrefied my school’s fiction collection.  This section of the collection is relatively small at the moment (about 2,000 books).  I intend to grow it a lot, so it made sense to me to get started in my first … Read more