The Absolutely True Adventures of a School Librarian

The Absolutely True Adventures of a School Librarian

Friday, February 17, 2017

Rethinking Genres & MakerSpaces

This week I had the pleasure of brainstorming via Google Hangouts with Anne Graner, Library Media Specialist at Ruth Hill Elementary School in Newnan, Georgia.

The conversation that we had that just blew my mind and made me want to share it with the rest of you, my amazing PLN, was about how Anne wants to combine her genrefied collection with MakerSpace"ish" aspects.  In other words, instead of Anne being the librarian in one place and the MakerSpace lady in another section, and the this in another place, and the that in yet another section... she could be EVERY WOMAN all rolled into one.

Below is a very simplified example of what Anne Graner is wanting to do with her library.  We would love your feedback and of course if you have already done something like this in your own library please share your process, tips & tricks, and pitfalls to avoid along the way.

Let's take for instance the history and geography genre in Anne's library.  She has combined both fiction and non fiction books in this area as well as career related books that would support this genre. What Anne would like to do next is have space actually in or right next to where these books are located that would have MakerSpace"ish" activities out for students to explore, tinker, create, and learn while also having those books there to connect what they are doing in that particular MakerSpace area.  That way students are relating the activities they are doing back to the books surrounding them. This would also lead (in my mind) to students checking out more of those books when they discover they want to continue to learn about the topic once they leave the library.

There is so much to love about this idea, but what I love most is that although it has loose curricular ties, the MakerSpace hasn't lost its spontaneity and has not been strangled with curricular regulations, i.e.: "This MakerSpace activity can only be done when it is your class' turn to do it".

Thus, getting back to Anne's history & geography section we brainstormed that some of the activities in that area could include MineCraft where students could build the worlds they read about, a Google My Maps set up so students could add their own layers to tell about places they read about, places they would like to learn about or visit, places their parents, grandparents, or great grandparents are from and more.  I had also suggested using Build with Chrome but just discovered it was discontinued on January 31, 2017! UGH! What other ideas can you think of to add to this area?

Anne also had great ideas geared up for the Arts Genre section including the obvious arts & crafts, easels, paints, sculpting and molding equipment but also wanted to have a recording studio in this area as well for those whose artistic skills learned towards the musical side.

So my friends, I put this out there for your constructive feedback. What do you think? We'd love to know!


  1. Love this thinking Anne and Nikki! Truly giving students the opportunity to explore, create and share a given genre across multiple platforms. Modifications or a start to considering this concept, thinking due to physical constratints, maybe AR or QR codes for tools, media etc which connect with the genre. So expanding on your Geography and History example, one might inclued a QR code to Geoguesser, timeline creation applications, sites for historical maps etc. Maybe include participatory opportunities for students to make historical to current world issue connections. Thinking... "The History & Geography Learning Center". Loving this!

    1. Yes, debschi, QR codes will be used to access multiple platforms and sources of information. We want to have a variety of participatory activities, so thanks for your suggestions! I'm at the elementary level, so we're using action-based themes for our learning clusters. Examples: 'Learn from the Past' (History Non-Fiction/ Historical Fiction/ related biographies & careers), 'Investigate Nature' (Animals, Plants, Biomes, Geology, Weather, etc./ Animal Fiction, Adventure Fiction (nature-based)/ related biographies & careers) and so on. It's a big project, and we are all excited about it! Thanks to Nikki for sharing our conversation in her blog and for encouraging us in this endeavor! Oh- just to be clear, we are at the beginning stage of this re-organization of space project.

  2. I love this idea. I think creating displays centered around a theme with fiction, nonfiction, and "craft" or makerspace ideas is an awesome idea! What about even doing stations centered around this? You could pick a standard/part of the curriculum and make this your theme and find resources that relate to this.

  3. I adore this thought. I think making shows revolved around a topic with fiction, true to life, and "make" or makerspace thoughts is a great thought! Shouldn't something be said about doing stations based on this? You could pick a standard/some portion of the educational programs and make this your topic and discover assets that identify with this. Buy Dissertation Online

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