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Creativity through "Maker" Experiences and Design Thinking in the Education of Librarians

Knowledge Quest Volume 42, Number 5, ISSN 1094-9046


A makerspace is a physical place in the library where informal, collaborative learning can happen through hands-on creation, using any combination of technology, industrial arts, and fine arts that is not readily available for home use. The underlying goal of a makerspace is to encourage innovation and creativity through the use of technology-to offer a place where everything from STEM learning to critical expression to future start-ups can be nurtured. Akin to a laboratory, the kind of learning that happens in a makerspace is hands-on, iterative, and experimental and touches a wide array of literacies. New as the maker movement is, there is little in the literature that investigates it in relation to the education and training of librarians. As someone who trains librarians, the author wondered if there was a way to integrate meaningful "making" experiences with tangible technology into the professional training of librarians so they can, in turn, effectively establish or manage a library-based makerspace that asks young people to think in new, creative ways. What skills, knowledge, and aptitudes do librarians need to implement makerspaces that reflect the core mission and goals of the library? To address these questions, the author pilot tested a "maker" experience with Library and Information Science (LIS) students, some of whom are training to be school librarians, at the University of Pittsburgh. These students participated in the Bots and Books Design Challenge, an extra-curricular event held each spring during the School of Information Sciences iFest. This article reports on her Bots and Books Design Challenge, experience.


Bowler, L. (2014). Creativity through "Maker" Experiences and Design Thinking in the Education of Librarians. Knowledge Quest, 42(5), 58-61. Retrieved December 8, 2022 from .

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