Maker Spaces: Small Space, Low Budget, High Quality #arsl2014


  • Look at maker spaces
  • funding
  • finding room
  • policy issues
  • marketing
  • space, programs, and collection
  • resources

Iowa Library Services, Jet Kofoot, Library Consultant, North Central District.

Used to be a nurse… became a librarian

Mostly rural libraries…

Maker Spaces:  Making means making learning through trial and error…  making means giving access to communities to grow and create something better.  (YALSA)

Making is something we have done since time began.  Made fire…  made homes/shelters… find and make food.

Beginning to become places where people create their own knowledge.  We’re living in the knowledge age.  Building knowledge, creating things.  Not surprising that we’re involved in this movement.

Maker spaces extension of what we’re already doing.  Making can take a lot of forms.

Quilt program:  library provides material.  Bring their own machines…  volunteer helps teach how to quilt if needed.  The library provides the space.

One library provides the machines and teens create denim quilts and purses, etc.

Not all about technology, although that’s what seems to get the most attention.  Helps people create cognitive connections.  Helps everyone learn in special ways, especially children.

Maker boxes,

Idaho maker program:  Checked out boxes,

Most likely there are people in your community who have skills that could help teach something.  (Ukranian eggs, quilting, stained glass, painting, etc)  Want to make sure volunteers aren’t trying to sell things and that they understand what “volunteer means”.


  • Create safe environment
  • Proper ventilation
  • Release forms – Some states require criminal background checks.

Jigsaw puzzles, cake pans, some checkout power tools (liability), pulling taffy, recording studio, darkroom,

“What women autoknow” session

***Making Mondays : every Monday after school. fabrigami, 3d printer, duct tape wallets, feltie zombies.  Rotate out every Monday.


How are we gonna get the money?

Many small inexpensive projects.  Can get money donated, time donated, supplies donated.  Find an advocate

Think about purchasing used items.  Make purchases in small quantities.

Can get ends and mattes from paper companies/printers


Traveling Maker Space

Finding Room:

  • Could just be a table
  • Could create kits
  • Park next to library…  Take things outside
  • Bulletin Board Spaces open to kids to decorate
  • Rolling carts


  • Cross marketing:  put things from different departments together.
  • Use social media to let ppl know what’s going on
  • Use community calendar, cable access calendar
  • Word of mouth
  • Host a theme night
  • Pair library materials with maker spaces/projects
  • Pair databases
  • Impulse items at circ desk
  • Facebook word of mouth (not necessarily from the library)


  • How much hands-on from staff
  • Fees?  How handled?
  • Damages
  • Safety, release forms, proper equipment
  • Rules – expectations?
  • User agreements




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