Depending on who you speak to, “Maker” culture is either a revolutionary new idea that has revitalized library services or a clever re-branding of programs libraries were already providing. Whatever your viewpoint, Maker culture continues to grow and thrive. We’ve had a Makerspace since 2013 in our library, but the past six months have seen an unprecedented uptick of patrons exploring the options in our TEA Room – Technology, Engineering, and the Arts. As a new generation of children discover the art supplies, circuit boards, and the 3D printer, we are examining anew our “maker” collection and its greater purpose in the library.
When we originally opened our Makerspace, we wanted to have a collection of books that lived in the room and was specifically for its use. We purchased about 25 books – duct tape craft ideas, origami books, Raspberry Pi guides, and many more. But we quickly ran into a problem – patrons who were using the books in the TEA Room wanted to check them out and take them home. After a few months of confused patrons and staff members, we ended up replicating the entire TEA Room collection in our Kids Non-fiction section. Although this fixed the problem in most cases, about a year later we added all the books in the TEA Room to the circulating collection. We left them on their shelf in the Makerspace. This erased most of our issues, although we occasionally have a patron who wants a book that’s in the circulating collection (on the shelves) to be added to the collection in the TEA Room. We’re happy to comply.
If you have a Makerspace, do you keep books in it, or do you help patrons find information and projects in your collection or on the internet?
Here are some of our most popular TEA Room books:
Maker Lab: 28 Super Cool Projects: Build, Invent, Create, Discover by Jack Challoner
Tape It & Make It: 101 Duct Tape Activities by Richela Fabian Morgan
World’s Best Origami by Nick Robinson
Coding Games in Scratch by Jon Woodcock
Create with Code: Build Your Own Website by Clyde Hatter