Great educators are always looking for new things to try and ways to enhance their lessons — but who has the time to do all the research? Diana Rendina suggests resources you can take advantage of over the summer — or anytime you have free time — to upgrade, reimagine, or enrich your makerspace.
The enrollment of English language learners is rapidly growing, and it’s important to explore strategies that will support the development of both their language and social skills. Maker learning is one pathway you should consider to achieve this, says Dr. Jacie Maslyk.
Formal school assessments drive everything from funding to curriculum decisions, but should they have a place in your makerspace? Learn why maker educator Heather Lister thinks evaluating maker projects can provide valuable information to both educators and students and gain resources for creating your own rubrics.
Looking for easy ways to spark collaboration and creativity in your learning space? Look no further than whiteboard surfaces, says maker educator Diana Rendina. From dry-erase tables to removable sticky tiles, there are myriad ways you can inspire kids to learn and create.
Do you have good a good reason behind why you want to start a makerspace? Taking the time to craft a vision for your space will ensure that it’s successful. The question is, how do you find your “why”? Seasoned maker Heather Lister gives you four strategies to help you define your vision and makerspace goals, as well as ways to measure your success.
School makerspaces can play a pivotal role in helping students cope with grief and loss. Get makerspace programming ideas and tips on how to facilitate compassionate making projects.
Are you applying for a grant to start your makerspace? Or maybe you’ve already won a grant or received a donation. Regardless of how you received the funds, chances are you need to make some quick but thoughtful decisions about what to buy. To help you decide, maker educator Diana Rendina recommends some tried-and-true tools for your makerspace.
Having a school makerspace allows teachers to increase learning opportunities for students and build connections across grade levels and content areas. Read examples of making throughout the curriculum and gain ideas for your own classroom.
When it comes to furnishing your makerspace, it can be tricky finding the right pieces to meet all of your needs. Sometimes, it’s hard to know what you need until you get your space up and running. That’s why we’ve done some of the homework for you. Check out three innovative makerspace furniture products available only from Demco that provide creative work surfaces and mobile seating and storage while helping you keep your space organized.
Having all the goodies is great, says educator Diana Rendina, but to build a thriving makerspace, you also need to spend time on nurturing the maker culture in your school. Read on for practical ideas you can implement right away.
[VIDEO] Maker educator Nick Provenzano teamed up with Demco’s interior design experts to create three separate spaces for making that follow the design process. Read about his schools’ new tools and furnishings and take a video tour of the space.
You’re ready to make the change to a flexible seating classroom, but how do you get parents and students on board? Find out with helpful tips and free downloads and start making parents and students your biggest flexible seating advocates.
You’ve got all the maker stuff, but where are you going to store it? Whether your supplies are on the move or stay in one place, the right makerspace cart can make all the difference. Find out how to choose a cart that work best for your space and discover six educator favorites.
Where will my students put their things? How often can they change seats? How do I prevent arguments over seating choices? If you’re thinking about implementing flexible seating, this post will provide you all these answers and more.
Learn what you need to consider before implementing flexible seating in your library or classroom, and get tips on how to make a smooth transition when you make the move.
Find out about the learning that took place when one administrator introduced her elementary schools to the Demco Maker Collection with Challenge Guide.
Looking to add flexible seating to your learning space, but not sure where to start? Meet the needs of all your students by offering different options. Choose from low seating, floor seating, soft seating and standing options to set your students up for learning success!
Making is not only for students who excel in math and science or who are exceptionally artistic. Makerspaces benefit students with academic and behavioral barriers to learning, as well as students who are nonverbal or those whose first language isn’t English. Discover the many benefits of maker education and how it offers every child an opportunity for hands-on learning.
What happens when administrators give their staff permission to try new things? Learn how saying “yes” to makerspaces can result in powerful learning opportunities.
Maker expert Nick Provenzano saw firsthand how creative students could get when given the opportunity to create with cardboard. When he introduced Makedo™ tools to the mix, students took their creations to the next level.
Looking for ways to ramp up the STEM learning in your library or classroom? Take a closer look at K’NEX. K’NEX are a popular and versatile building tool for all age groups, and they allow students to quickly design, prototype and iterate. Get students’ gears turning with three quick K’NEX challenges from Diana Rendina.
Your learning environment needs to be flexible to support technology, hands-on activities, small- and large-group learning, collaboration and individual study. Browse furniture that will help ensure your space meets the needs of your 21st century learners.
Administrators play a key role in leading the charge for creativity and innovation in their schools. Find out how you can best support a makerspace initiative in your school or library from an administrator who has spearheaded new makerspaces in two different districts.
The real-world design challenge Diana Rendina gave her students resulted in a maker cart that is now manufactured by Custom Educational Furnishings (CEF) and offered through Demco. Read on to learn how you can offer your students authentic design challenges in your makerspace.
If you’re looking for validation that makerspaces belong in libraries, seasoned maker and librarian Diana Rendina has got you covered. Explore these 5 important reasons and share them with stakeholders to help them understand how a makerspace can benefit your school community.
Cardboard is the perfect medium to get your kids started with making – it’s free, it’s abundant, and what kid doesn’t see potential in a cardboard box? Learn how makerspace veteran Angela Rosheim helps her students take their cardboard creations to the next level with Makedo™ tools and connectors.
Holding a Maker Fest in your school or library is a great way to showcase all the wonderful learning taking place in your makerspace. Diana Rendina walks you through the details, gives you ideas for stations, and helps you make sure your own Maker Fest will be successful.
Ready to take on the challenge of choosing new furniture for your library? The right furniture choices can help you make small spaces seem a lot larger or make your casual spaces great for work as well. Use these tips to create multifunctional library spaces that meet your users’ many needs.
Ready to get kids excited about coding? Library Journal Maker Hero Alisha Wilson shares how she draws a crowd with her Coding for a Cookie event with three key steps. You’ll gain a host of coding resources, learn about setting up stations, and get tips on advertising your event.
You’ve prepped, planned and set up your makerspace, now how do you make sure that students and staff use it? Nick Provenzano brings you ideas on how you can engage students and get staff excited about the learning opportunities offered by your makerspace.
Makerspaces can get messy! Do you have a strategy to stay organized? Angela Rosheim offers ideas to keep your school or library makerspace materials in order and easy to find. You’ll also get storage tips, ideas for handling works in progress and advice on how to get students to help keep your makerspace in order.
After using their geometry skills to create string art, Winnetka fourth-graders supersized their projects using the hands-on makerspace tool Rigamajig. Learn how they created a giant-sized protractor and took their string art experience outdoors to apply engineering, math and art concepts.
Research has proven that the quality of students’ learning environment contributes to their academic success. In this webinar, you’ll learn how learning environments affect student achievement, the challenges traditional learning spaces pose and how libraries and classrooms are evolving to meet 21st century needs. We’ll also walk you through the steps of a remodel or redesign to help you better understand how our interior services experts can help make the process less complicated, less stressful and more fun!
There are so many great makerspace tools and supplies you could use in your unique space. But how do you choose which ones to buy on a limited budget? Expert Nick Provenzano gives you tips on what to keep in mind when figuring out the right tools for your space and shares some of his favorites.
Deciding you want to create a makerspace is easy. Figuring out what it’s going to look like can be the tricky part. Read on for tips from Nicholas Provenzano, aka The Nerdy Teacher, about how to develop your creation space. Get advice on gaining more space in your library, considering instructional needs and choosing furniture for your space.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) affects one in 68 children. You can use your makerspace not only to bring awareness to ASD, but also to engage children of all abilities. To celebrate Autism Awareness Month in April, Gina Seymour provides you with five maker activities and tips on how to offer programming that’s both inclusive and fun year-round.
Did you miss the Feb. 22 #DemcoMakerChat about meaningful making? No worries! You can still learn from your peers about how to promote meaningful making in your makerspace. Here are some of the great responses shared during the chat. For the full archive, search #DemcoMakerChat on Twitter.
Gathering ideas for your summer reading program? Look no further! We polled librarians and asked what their favorite and most effective programs were and they delivered. From teaming up with hometown heroes to STEM programming to taking your show on the road, there are so many exciting ways you can engage your community through summer reading.
In this first installment of the Demco Master Maker blog series, expert Nicholas Provenzano, aka The Nerdy Teacher, shares his background, talks about the importance of makerspaces in schools, gives a preview of the topics he’ll be addressing in future posts, and invites you to join the conversation during the monthly #DemcoMakerChat on Thursday nights.
Makerspace skills aren’t often recognized on report cards, so how can you celebrate student achievement in those areas? Nicholas Provenzano, aka The Nerdy Teacher, is using badges to acknowledge the hard work, ingenuity, critical thinking and computer skills students develop through working in their makerspace. Learn how you can develop your own badging system for your space.
Join Learning Environment Designer Marci Milius as she discusses the changes taking place in today’s learning environments and how you can adapt your library space to fit students’ needs and new instructional models. You’ll also get tips and advice on how to choose furniture for your space that meets safety requirements and creates an inviting environment.
Your library users’ needs are changing and so is your library. Browse furniture that can help you keep your library spaces flexible by providing power and mobility and pulling double duty when you need them to.
Flexible seating is becoming more and more popular in today’s schools. Maybe you’re thinking about trying it, but you still have more questions. See what questions our readers had and how our experts answered them.
You’re ready to start creating your makerspace, but what kind of furniture and seating will you need? Use this handy checklist to help you decide how you will you use your space and what you need to think about when choosing furnishings.
The role of the school library is expanding and it’s transforming the way students use your space and the services you provide. Learn from an award-winning library media specialist about what you need to think about when transforming your library to a learning commons model. From the services you provide to the instructional and study spaces you design, a little planning can go a long way.
After writing grants, garnering the support of the college foundation and finding community partners, St. Petersburg College’s Innovation Lab was born.
Looking for the next new tech tool to add to your makerspace? See how School Librarian of the Year Todd Burleson is using drones to engage students and teach coding in his classroom.
We asked five libraries to tell us about how this one product helped them do more with their media collection. See what they had to say.
Ah, teenagers! They’re a unique age group with their own wants, needs, and one-of-a-kind personalities. How can you reach them? Create a space that offers them comfort, creativity, socializing, and exploration. See top picks in teen seating.
The Demco Makerspace Survey revealed the pain points many librarians have with starting and running a makerspace, but it also revealed some great advice for meeting those challenges head on. See what your peers had to say about their makerspaces and get tips and pointers.
Renovated and expanded in 2015, the Schreiner Memorial Library (WI) was smartly designed to serve the community’s current and future needs. See why it was named Library of the Year from the Wisconsin Library Association in 2016.
Take it from an expert, you’ve got a lot of options in your library design “tool kit” — even if you’re working within space and budget constraints.
When this elementary teaching veteran read about the benefits of flexible seating in classrooms, she just knew she had to try it. Learn why she cleared 30 desks out of her room and replaced them with flexible seating and why she’ll never go back.
Measuring the impact of programs and services is a challenge, but it can be done. Learn how a library partnership and data sharing can get you started.
Learn from a certified ergonomist how active learning environments can keep kids engaged, improve test scores and result in greater creativity and positive behavior.
Learn how you can harness new education strategies and transform your children’s library into an interactive STEAM learning environment.
If you’ve found time to watch any of the Demco-sponsored webinars, you know we are fortunate to partner with smart folks who share their expertise and experiences. What you may not have discovered is the archive of the questions attendees asked but were not always answered during the live session. Read on to find answers to questions on library space design.
Library Journal Mover and Shaker Sharona Ginsberg highlights the benefits of makerspaces in academic libraries and gives tips to start you on your way to success.
Accomplished maker and educator Heather Lister provides you with sample projects and resources to incorporate the maker movement within your school, library or classroom (or all three!), with little to no technology requirements.
Struggling to find the best tools for your library makerspace? Join expert Laura Fleming as she discusses how best to support your space.
Want to get more buy-in from staff and added exposure for your maker programs? Children’s Librarian and maker extraordinaire Holly Storck-Post fills you in on the benefits of holding a maker program for the entire library staff.
The Maker Movement has hit the library! Watch this webinar and learn how to ensure patrons can pursue open-ended maker projects and enjoy playing to learn.
The way college library spaces are designed to meet the variety of students’ needs has evolved considerably. Read one university’s story.
Library makerspaces come in many forms and offer places to tinker, develop work skills or invent. What are your makerspace goals? Check out 4 essential considerations and the latest products.
Ready to embrace functional space both indoors and out? Get ideas from the Nashville Public Library on how to create an amazing outdoor space and discover ways to bring the outdoors inside.
Your physical space is one of your library’s biggest assets. Wi-Fi tracking technology can help you visualize how patrons are interacting with that space, as well as inform new library programs and space changes.
The teens involved in every step of the planning process for The Mix helped make this teen zone the place to be. Explore the results as Manager Cathy Cormier takes us on a virtual tour of the multiple areas of SFPL’s teen zone, their uses and the tools they feature.
As centers of learning, college libraries are reinventing their spaces to facilitate just about anything students may dream up. Hear from 2 academic librarians about higher education makerspaces and design labs.
Staff from The Mix at San Francisco Public Library share their experience in developing, funding and building their new teen library space, as well as how they engaged their youth and made it a community project.
From providing comfort and integrating technology to offering flexibility, learn about ideas to make library collaborative spaces great.
In an age of information abundance, libraries are a natural fit for creativity and innovation spaces. In this webinar, Traci Lesneski of MSR Architects will discuss creating a flexible, supportive environment and increasing your value to your community.
From new ways to describe your library to how small spaces can have impact, get a first-person account of the top 5 takeaways from this year’s Library Journal Design Institute.
The new Slover Library epitomizes a modern library, embracing both past and present. See why this library shines with flexible spaces, technology and more.
Collaboration is the word! View the Demco panel presentation that addresses collaborative library spaces and provides examples of spaces that can work for varying budgets.
Borrow ideas from retailers’ visual merchandising playbooks to help your book displays gain more visibility, attract patrons and increase circulation.
At the La Crosse Public Library in WI, children pretend to shop at a farmers market, tell stories on flannel boards and play parachute games. See how playtime at the library builds early literacy skills in a natural way and learn how you can create an engaging children’s environment, even on a budget.
Having trouble connecting with today’s teenagers? This webinar is for you! Join teen programming expert Sarah Flowers as she discusses what it takes to draw teens into the library, including budgeting, planning, marketing and more.
School libraries are going from book warehouses to multi-functional learning commons. How will you make the leap? This webinar answers how spaces can be designed to support multiple learning activities, goals, interests and individuals at once.
In this first of 4 articles, find out how to use signage to enhance your spaces and reinforce your merchandising and service models. This blog post moves you closer to mastering the art and science of wayfinding and provides resources and ideas for effective and practical signage solutions for your library.
Your library space needs everything but a kitchen sink. How do you accomplish multiple renovation projects on a limited budget? Dan Meehan from HBM Architects gives you fresh approaches for reevaluating your layout, proposing changes and supporting your vision for the future.
San José Public Library learned that customer experiences and wayfinding go hand in hand during their district-wide building and renovation project. Ruth Barefoot, Library Consultant, demonstrates the strategies and lessons learned in the journey to improve library service models.
Not sure how to choose enduring colors and finishes for your spaces? Looking for practical advice on how to make your library dazzle yet hold up to the raucous demands of everyday use? This webinar provides the guidance you need.
Whether your budget is big or small, this webinar can help you create the ultimate teen space! Library consultant, Kimberly Bolan Cullin, updates you on new teen space trends, digital creativity and interactivity, collaboration spaces and more.
Looking to develop more engaging and interactive spaces for children of all ages? This webinar can help you utilize best practices for space planning, technology integration and design at your library.
Over the past ten years, planning and designing children’s libraries has shifted from being book-centric to multidimensional spaces that include imaginative play areas, guided explorations, gaming zones and media centers with a variety of technologies.
What does your dream library look like? Tune into this webinar to find out how you can turn your library of tomorrow into your library of today. Smart design solutions, real-life renovation stories and tips on how to revamp existing spaces.
Undergoing a major remodel in 2009, the Poplar Creek Public Library worked with their existing 44,000-square foot building, more than doubling their space to 96,000 square feet with an addition, while keeping the needs and desires of their residents in mind.
Getting ready to undergo a complete remodel, the Barrington Area Library is looking forward to completely rethinking the layout of their library and innovating within their existing building shell. Even without going through this full scale plan, it is obvious that library staff continually innovate and try new things throughout their spaces.
Though it is housed in a relatively new building (2002), the Ela Area Library continues to actively update their spaces and services to keep pace with the ever changing needs of their customers.
The Barclay School was built in the 1950s, and the most recent update to the library had taken place in 1993 when the carpet was replaced and the black steel shelving was painted white. This project provided the DEMCO Interiors design team with the challenge of creating an inviting age- and size-appropriate library environment for the school’s second- and third-grade students on a small budget.
With a bit of imagination, we have found that it is possible to do a little refreshing and get more mileage out of a space that has become dated or is less than inspiring. Even though it isn’t always the ultimate solution, a modest investment can often make enough of a difference to start prompting other changes.