Home | News & Events | Events | 2016 Events | 2016 NISO Webinars | December 14: Make it at the Library: How Does Library Technology Support Makerspaces?

NISO Webinar: Make it at the Library: How Does Library Technology Support Makerspaces?

Wednesday, December 14, 2016
1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. (Eastern Time)

System Requirements:

  • NISO has developed a quick tutorial, How to Participate in a NISO Web Event. Please view the recording, which is an overview of the web conferencing system and will help to answer the most commonly asked questions regarding participating in an online Webex event.
  • You will need a computer for the presentation and Q&A.
  • Audio is available through the computer (broadcast) and by telephone. We recommend you have a set-up for telephone audio as back-up even if you plan to use the broadcast audio as the voice over Internet isn't always 100% reliable.
  • Please check your system in advance to make sure it meets the Cisco WebEx requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure that your system is properly set up before each webinar begins.  

About the Webinar

The movement to help support the “maker” culture among libraries has grown and and is creating vibrant communities centered around the library in many communities.  Beyond purchasing equipment and the tools necessary to produce objects, what does the library need to do to support these innovation spaces?  How do traditional library services and information management support these communities and new tools?  This session will explore how some of the most successful makerspaces have been created and how traditional library services are being incorporated into those spaces. During this session, speakers from three different institutions that have implemented makerspaces, who will discuss how they have integrated traditional services into their maker initiatives.

Agenda and Event Slides

Todd Carpenter, Executive Director, NISO

Confirmed Panelists:

Is There a Role for a Library-Based Makerspace in a Liberal Arts School?
George Meadows
, University of Mary Washington


The ThinkLab, a Library-based Makerspace, was developed as a collaborative effort on the part of the Simpson Library, the College of Education, and the Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies. The site is equipped with 3D scanners and printers as well as a wide variety of tools and building materials, including soldering kits, microcontroller boards and circuit components, Styrofoam cutters, and basic hand tools. The ThinkLab has served as the site for a number of classes, some specific to makerspaces, but most using the space as a workshop for course-related projects. While the ThinkLab is still an active site, a number of questions regarding its future have arisen, including such issues as who can/should use the space, budget considerations, and University support. These questions lead to the bigger issue of the role (if there is a role) for a Library-based Makerspace in a relatively small Liberal Arts school. The development of a second, very active Makerspace in the College of Education has made this issue a bit more complicated. In this webinar I will discuss the role of the ThinkLab, with examples of some past and ongoing projects and discuss the questions and issues described above. I will also briefly describe the role of the College of Education makerspace in developing and supporting makerspaces in local public and K-12 school libraries.

George Meadows is a Professor in the College of Education at the University of Mary Washington. He teaches courses in Science Education, Instructional Technology, and in the College of Arts and Sciences Interdisciplinary Sciences program. He was one of the founding partners for the ThinkLab, a University Library-based Makerspace. He has also developed a second, education-oriented Makerspace for the College of Education. His recent work focuses on the development of Makerspaces in K-12 schools and public educational institutions such as the Central Rappahannock Regional Library and the Friends of the Rappahannock, a local environmental education group. This last site is of particular interest since it is an attempt to develop an environmental education makerspace.

Creating a Digital Maker Space in the Academic Library
Sara Gonzalez
, University of Florida


Digital making includes Arduino scripting, creating virtual and augmented reality experiences, and mobile app development. This type of space can be standalone or partnered with a more traditional makerspace offering fabrication tools such as 3D printing and laser cutting. This flexibility creates options for libraries that lack the infrastructure or resources for a dedicated makerspace but still want to offer maker tools to their patrons. This presentation will describe the development of the University of Florida’s MADE@UF lab, a digital makerspace located in the science library that provides workstations, software, devices, and support for mobile app and virtual reality development.

Sara Russell Gonzalez is a science librarian at the University of Florida where she is the physical sciences and mathematics liaison and coordinates the MADE@UF software development lab along with the 3D printing service. She holds a Ph.D. in Geophysics from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an M.L.I.S. from Florida State University. Her current research interests include emerging technologies in libraries, modeling and visualization of data, and scientific literacy instruction. Dr. Gonzalez recently co-authored 3D Printing: A Practical Guide for Librarians (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016).

Making Ends Meet: What Library Makerspaces Need to Succeed
John J. Burke
, Miami University Middletown. 


Makerspaces can be easy to start in academic libraries: just buy a 3D printer and you’re in business, right? But before you start collecting tools and technologies, what questions should you ask, and what possibilities should you consider to help your makerspace stay running beyond your first equipment failure? The creator of an academic library makerspace will share what he and his team have learned over the last 2 ½ years along with lessons drawn from interviews with other library makers. The TEC Lab at Miami University Middletown grew from placing a 3D printer on the circulation desk, then gathering craft materials and equipment into a corner of the library, and now inhabiting a dedicated makerspace room with a laser cutter and a growing array of user expectations. What inspires new additions to makerspaces, and how can you stay ahead of needs to add skills and teach new users? The presentation will include a discussion of budgets, programming options, and ways to sustain your makerspace. Attendees will gain a practical perspective of daily operations and the requirements for supporting a variety of making activities.

John J. Burke is the Library Director for the Middletown regional campus of Miami University (Ohio) and holds the rank of Principal Librarian. John is co-chair of the Southwest Ohio Council on Higher Education’s Library Council, a board member of OhioNET, and a past president of the Academic Library Association of Ohio. He earned an M.S. in library science from the University of Tennessee and a B.A. in history from Michigan State University. John is the author of several books on library technologies, including Makerspaces: A Practical Guide for Librarians (Rowman and Littlefield).


SAVE! Register for multiple events.

If paying by credit card, register online.

If paying by check, please use this PDF form.

Registration closes on Wednesday, December 14, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. (ET)

  • NISO Voting Members*
    • $95.00 (US and Canada)
    • $109.00 (International)
  • NASIG Member
    • $95.00
  • Non-Member
    • $125.00 (US and Canada)
    • $149.00 (International)
  • Student
    • $49.00

* LSA Member - extra access link fee

Additional Information

  • Registration closes at 12:00 p.m. (ET) on Wednesday, December 14, 2016. Cancellations made by Wednesday, December 7, 2016 will receive a refund, less a $25 cancellation. After that date, there are no refunds.
  • Registrants will receive detailed instructions about accessing the webinar via e-mail the Monday prior to the event. (Anyone registering between Monday and the close of registration will receive the message shortly after the registration is received, within normal business hours.) Due to the widespread use of spam blockers, filters, out of office messages, etc., it is your responsibility to contact the NISO office if you do not receive login instructions.
  • If you have not received your Login Instruction email by 10:00 a.m. (ET) on the Tuesday before the webinar, at please contact the NISO office at nisohq@niso.org for immediate assistance.
  • Registration is per site (access for one computer) and includes access to the online recorded archive of the webinar. You may have as many people as you like from the registrant's organization view the webinar from that one connection. If you need additional connections, you will need to enter a separate registration for each connection needed.
  • If you are registering someone else from your organization, either use that person's e-mail address when registering or contact NISO Office to provide alternate contact information.
  • Library Standards Alliance (LSA) members receive one free webinar connection as part of their membership and DO NOT need to register for the event for this free connection. Your webinar contact will receive the login instructions the Monday before the event. You may have as many people as you like from the member's library view the webinar from that one connection. If you need additional connections beyond the free one, then you will need to enter a paid registration (at the member rate) for each additional connection required.
  • Webinar presentation slides and Q&A will be posted to the site following the live webinar.
  • Registrants and LSA member webinar contacts will receive an e-mail message containing access information to the archived webinar recording within 48 hours after the event. This recording access is only to be used by the registrant's or member's organization.