Library Makerspace: New Experience as a LIS Professional of Bangladesh

Syeda Mukta Begum, 9 January 2019

What is makerspace?

Why should we know about makerspace?

What is going to happen to us if we know about makerspace?

Does makerspace connect to the libraries?

My first experience with makey makey!

Makerspace is the common name in developing countries nowadays. A makerspace is the place where people can get together to show their creativity. A library should be the centre of modern innovation. Therefore, a library should have makerspace for creativity and innovation in Bangladesh. Makerspace is the modern library service for the users in the organization. The Librarians could use modern tools and digital technologies to encourage more creativity and innovation in the library.  They could use modern tools like 3D and 4D printers, more audio and visual kit, laser cutters and engravers, sewing machines, cameras, Lego, makey makey, coding, robotics, paper craft, origami and other hardware and software tools for running different projects for the users to encourage innovation.

One of my colleagues from International School Dhaka (ISD) Mr Troy Harkin who is running makerspace at ISD shared his personal opinions regarding maker space in the libraries.

“Maker Spaces can be integral to bringing fresh ideas and opportunities for kids to explore things.  Having it as a part of a library, that turns into a centre for not just reading books but working with different resources for learning and exploring makes for different learning opportunities to take place. They have become more popular in certain cultures as the role of a Librarian has, for many, shifted into a Librarian/Teacher Model.  I think that any advancement in learning should be presented to as many people as possible, regardless of where they come from.  If they find that it with the needs they are trying to address, then certainly they should find ways to adopt them. Libraries for some are not as traditional as they used to be.  It’s not just checking out books anymore, but anything that allows for greater learning is seen.  Back when computers were being installed into Libraries to allow for people to gather many types of information quickly, this concept of innovation in terms of gaining knowledge has always been one of the purposes of a Library.  To learn as much as you can about as many different things, that you can do in one place’’.

A few years ago, one of my friends and another colleague Ms Sarah Harkin from ISD told me about makerspace.  She has given me makey makey to play with it.

Before that, I knew about makerspace in our international librarians’ group and others International Librarian Groups on Facebook pages. But I didn’t know enough about it at that time.  So when Sarah was sharing about it I became much excited to know about this. She offered me to join a workshop based on maker space at ISD.  In the workshop, I met a number of people who became very good friends of mine indeed, are working to run maker projects in different organizations. That day I made a cute flower as gift giving making project at my workplace.

Making flower in the gift making projects


I was so excited to know more about this!

I was so excited to know more about this.  Then I participated in a number of online webinars, workshops and YouTube Videos to know more about makerspace. Moreover, I found there are a number of making projects for the libraries to encourage innovation. Then at the beginning in June 2017, I travelled to Singapore and visited a number of public libraries and found how makerspace and libraries could be connected. and how we can arrange innovation for the student in the libraries. By this time, our school already has started with maker space at ISD. So I got the chance to learn more about it.

After a few days later, I visited Archer K. Blood American Center Library (The American Center) at U.S. embassy. By this time, Dr Bashar who is the director of the centre showed me their makerspace with 3D and 4D projects. He also showed and shared with me how they are working different making projects with students of different schools and universities. The library staff also showed some students projects with robots and makey makey to me.

In the middle of the month of October, I had been sent to the IB workshop in Singapore. That time I was very lucky and able to visit Singapore American School (SAS) and gained a lot of practical experiences about makerspace in the libraries. A librarian showed me how they are connecting makerspace with the libraries.  A library is a recreational centre, I have heard and studied in my student life, but I felt at the first time when I had visited SAS. A library could be connected for creativity and innovation, it is not only the place for lots of books and it’s beyond this. This is the place where people can discover themselves with multiple intelligence such as verbal, musical-rhythmic, bodily-kinesthetic, mathematical, visual-spatial, interpersonal, intrapersonal and others etc. The Librarian from SAS, Mr Ron Starker who has an incredible knowledge about modern libraries and number of professional experiences including Harvard University shared his making projects in the library. He shared that library should have traditional and modern remix option with books, information literacy and multiple projects. He also shared that the great library Alexandria has different studios for all types of learning, subject and topic in the library, what we need in the future libraries.

Ron Starker, me and James

Mr Starker introduces Mr James who just an unbelievable person to make anything happen and running Makerspace and Design centre at SAS Middle school library. Mr James shared and showed to me some student’s creative work what has been used to make furniture’s such as chairs, tables and sofas for the children in the library. I observed the paper crafts making projects, Legos activities, recycled boxes used to make a guitar, broken wood furniture’s are using to make musical instruments, a music studio arranged with broken furniture’s where children can play with various musical instruments using with headphones etc.

Music Studios with broken furniture’s. Children can play and listen to music by self-using headphone.

Chairs and others furniture’s are covered with student’s project

Student’s projects in the furniture’s

The Librarian also gave his written book  ‘Transforming libraries:  a toolkit for innovators, makers, and seekers’ to me.

Then, I have visited many other schools and public libraries in Singapore and gain a lot of experiences regarding makerspace and learn different making projects in the library!

I am happy to share my more experiences if anyone is interested in “makerspace”.