Last year raced away from me and I have had very little time to reflect on what has happened in our library, and particularly our new Makerspace, launched in the second half of 2015! Thank goodness for holiday breaks and time for reflection!
Our library makerspace has proved very popular with all age groups. The Lego and K’Nex is particularly popular with our younger Year 7 and Year 8 users and is a particularly good way to keep the active boys busy with something “constructive” and creative which does not involve a screen or technology.
Some K’Nex and Lego building
The older girls were very happy crafting with duct tape and late last year also introduced some of their own craft projects which they brought in from home:
Our duct tape being put to good use
A Year 12 student brought her Fimo supplies in to our Makerspace to work on her craft project at school.
Towards the end of the year we introduced colouring sheets and the Year 12 students study students found them a great way to de-stress during the anxious weeks leading up to final exams. We plan to repeat this activity for our study students every year during the lead up to exams.
In 2016 we had continued interest from the Year 7s in our Lego and K’Nex. The addition of a colouring corner is planned with the purchase of colouring books and coloured pencils as a start and more purchases planned soon. Other planned activities are a repeat of the crochet lessons through the cooler autumn and winter months, the addition of knitting lessons and other craft activities such as scrapbooking, cross-stitch, and specific projects such as making dreamcatchers, bookmarks, jewellery, and Sculpey modelling clay creation. Other activities available in this area include puzzle-making, chess, other board games and card games.
Our biggest obstacle with our Makerspace is lack of time as our breaks are so short and students have to race through eating to have time to get creative! As our students prefer our open tables to the closed study carrels we currently have a Makerspace trolley/cart (a suggestion from the awesome Daring Librarian @GwynethJones) which can easily be wheeled to the area designated as the Makerspace area. Initially we only allocated lunch breaks on 2 days for the Makerspace activities but, with interest growing, we have allowed the kids to spontaneously get the mobile Makerspace out and get creative!
We hope that the Library Makerspace will continue to grow and build more participation and enthusiasm as the days are cooler and wetter during winter. It is an area which allows the students to just be kids away from technology. Making, creating and building encourages their creativity and allows them some down-time during the busy school day where they have no obligation to be assessed. They are free to just be kids and interact with each other face-to-face.