Beyond BiblioTEC: Creating a Sustainable Pop-up Makerspace Toolkit for Public Libraries
Makerspaces— creative environments dedicated to active learning—are a growing trend in libraries; however, without a contingency plan for sustaining makerspaces, the momentum that libraries have harnessed from the “maker movement” could halt to a standstill. Our research took us to Kitsap County, where nearly 258,000 patrons are served by the regional library system. BiblioTEC (Technology, Education, and Community) is an IMLS award-winning STEM learning lab at Kitsap Regional Library. In order to enable the continued success of BiblioTEC as they enter a new phase of development, we created a Pop-Up Makerspace Toolkit for use in public library learning initiatives. We developed a scalable outcome-based curriculum to provide informal learning for at-risk youth and designed transferable models for library learning labs. Through our work in the community we have helped Kitsap Regional Library strengthen their educational outreach and empower patrons to learn, dream, and make.