Fourie and Meyer’s study explores the role of libraries in the makerspace movement (Fourie and Meyer 519). Makerspaces are informal places that are suitable for art or science performances. Such places are necessary for individuals who can cooperate with each other in order to develop new concepts, improve their skills, and design innovative products. Makerspaces are made up of people with different backgrounds and experience. One of the basic principles that participants abide by is constructionism. Makerspaces support creative activities and attract different specialists to various educational areas. For example, libraries and museums provide such makerspaces and opportunities. Many reliable specialists underline the importance of such practices as they help to increase interest in sciences and arts among teenagers. It is very important to cultivate a culture of creators, not consumers. New opportunities for children to improve their designing skills encourage them to get involved more deeply in science and engineering. Various educators support this movement and establish learning environments in different settings.
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In addition, researchers throughout the world actively study this area, suggesting new methods for the development of makerspaces. They create different online resources for both learners and educators. Many works in this field focus on achievements of young people who learn through making. In spite of the fact that there is much attention to establishing makerspaces, there is still not enough information about their inner processes.
Many libraries establish makerspaces, and their members are mostly adults interested in different aspects of making. The main characteristic of such communities is enthusiasm to explore new areas. The members can work individually and in groups. However, the overall performance of the community is of the highest priority. Learning processes are based on different methods and united in systems. Specialists working in makerspaces understand that it is very important to pay particular attention to enjoyment and fulfillment when it comes to creating. They try to address the problem of underemployment, improving employment opportunities for all participants. Academic libraries support various researchers and enhance collaboration. Makerspaces provide not only spaces and tools but also cultivate a fun environment.
There is a high demand for new makerspaces. Therefore, it is necessary to extend physical spaces and create online platforms that ensure effective interaction and cooperation. This process also requires providing access to academic publications. Electronic formats of books are highly relevant nowadays. Another important aspect is socialization. The establishment of personal networks for members of makerspaces is highly necessary. Virtual communities need to be supported to enhance collaboration. Also, specialists at makerspaces raise the awareness for the motivation and effectiveness in overcoming challenges. They introduce new methods for searching for information and provide examples from their experience. An ethical aspect also deserves particular attention. People involved in activities in makerspaces should be aware of principles of ethical conduct.
Librarians constantly survey options to meet users’ needs. They gather data on the most appealing activities that are suitable for makerspaces. In addition, libraries try to engage new people in the makerspace movement. The target populations include students, teenagers, employees, and housewives. A socio-political aspect is also important for makerspaces. Specialists in such creative spaces study people’s behaviors and attitudes.
In conclusion, makerspaces offer a variety of opportunities for diverse populations. They share information, assisting people in creating and researching. Libraries are very convenient settings for such activities. However, there are still many questions that have to be addressed. Such aspects as people’s experience in makerspaces, its impact on their behaviors and attitudes, and literacy skills should be explored more deeply and carefully.
Fourie, Ina, and Anika Meyer. “What to Make of Makerspaces: Tools and DIY Only or Is There an Interconnected Information Resources Space?” Library Hi Tech, vol. 33, no. 4, 2015, pp. 519-525.