When most people think of libraries, they usually think books. Anyone working in a library today, however, knows that they are so much more than just books. Libraries have always been places of community engagement, enlightenment, and enrichment. Marine Corps Community Services (MCCS) installation libraries are continuing that tradition by providing Makerspaces for our patrons.

In recent years, many public and academic libraries have begun to develop spaces for activities that both teach and empower patrons to try new and emerging technologies to explore the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) realms.  Makerspace programs are also encouraging our patrons to learn a creative craft or skill such as painting, jewelry, and textile arts. The programming and learning in these spaces varies wildly — from technology repair to designing with a 3D printer; from knitting to sewing; from robotics and circuitry to coding; and from jewelry making to constructing with Legos. The programming ideas are endless.

“Makerspaces enable libraries to transform their relationship with patrons and to empower patrons of all ages to be creators of information, not just consumers” says Barbara Stripling, American Library Association President, 2013-2014. The Makerspace movement aligns with the MCCS libraries’ mission to promote continuous education, increase creative and spiritual development, enhance social well-being, and provide access to the resources patrons need to continue to learn throughout their lives.

Makerspaces can also offer age appropriate, creative activities for children and teens that nurtures peer-to-peer learning. In addition to library staff conducting programs, they have also enlisted the talents of Marines and family members as facilitators in using the Makerspaces. This is fostering a greater community connection sharing supplies, skills, and ideas, and often working together on projects. The makerspace is a natural extension of what we already do. 

“Libraries are about access to information, technology, resources and even tools. Makerspaces build community connections through staff and community instructors.  Libraries promote literacy as more than reading and writing; literacy has evolved into ‘trans-literacy,’ the ability to read, write and interact across a broad range of platforms. Creating Makerspaces in the MCCS installation Libraries has provided a wide range of programming for children, teens, the Single Marine community and other adult patrons,” says Cynthia Shipley, Library Program Manager.  

Please visit your MCCS installation Library to explore their Makerspace offerings.