Maker Workshop

Create a Maker Program Ready to Implement in Your School or Library

October 3–24, 2017

Live Sessions on Tuesdays at 3:30 PM ET: October 3, 10, 17, 24

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School Library Journal’s newest installment of Maker Workshop will feature up-to-the-minute content to help you develop a rich maker program for your school or library. Join us to learn new ways of sparking engagement and hands-on learning. During this 4-week online course, you’ll hear directly from expert keynote speakers doing inspiring work that you can emulate, regardless of your library’s size or budget.

Course sessions will explore culturally relevant making and how to assess your community’s needs, STEAM, mobile maker spaces, multi-media, and more!

In addition to weekly guest speakers, participants will work in small groups with facilitators experienced in the maker movement to complete assignments and field research in your library that will fuel your maker program.

Inspiring Live Guest Speakers + Project-Based Learning

Engage with presenters via live video stream, visual presentations, and chats, and workshop practical ideas in groups, with guidance from an advisor, to map out your own maker program.

Online course features

  • Instructor-led online courses feature personalized interaction over four weeks
  • Real-time guest speakers and conversation via live webcast (with recordings available afterward)
  • Weekly homework assignments to help you make progress on your goals
  • Individualized attention from course facilitators who work with you in a coaching environment to help sort out challenges
  • Ongoing group conversation via discussion forums
  • Articles, videos and other resources

Who should take this course?

Librarians and educators interested in overseeing or developing maker-oriented programming for the library. The course content will be relevant to librarians in schools or public libraries who serve various age groups and demographics. Participants will walk away with a plan for the launch of their maker program.

In this recorded webcast, course advisor Carmen Scheidel, CEO of, discusses the fourth installment of Maker Workshop and what to expect from the 4-week course. Ellen Druda also shares information about a program she launched at Half Hollow Hills Community Library (NY) that allows teens to create and assemble 3D printed prosthetics in bright and beautiful colors.

Group discounts are available!

Register in groups for a unique team-building experience and get everyone working together. Contact us to learn more.

Course Speakers

Course Schedule

WEEK 1: Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017


3:00-5:00 PM ET

Course advisor Carmen Scheidel, CEO of, will lead you on a guided tour of the online classroom, explain how the assignments and homework groups work, and take any of your questions to help get you set up for our live keynote session.


Carmen Scheidel, Library Journal Course Advisor and CEO of

SESSION 1: Opening Keynote

3:30-4:15 PM ET

Speaker to be announced soon.

SESSION 2: Makers Helping Makers: Creating a Community of Makers Through Advocacy, Skill Sharing, and Problem-Solving

4:15-5:00 PM ET

In this insightful session, Executive Director of Nation of Makers, Dorothy Jones-Davis shares how Nation of Makers, a national nonprofit organization, works to support makers around the country through a vast network of resource-sharing, advocacy, and community-building. She’ll discuss ways to collaborate with your community and engage stakeholders to develop initiatives around making in your town or city. You’ll learn how to tap into the ecosystem of makers that surrounds you to create a truly vibrant makerspace.


Dorothy Jones-Davis, Executive Director, Nation of Makers

Weekly Assignment:
Create an initial sketch of big picture planning for your maker program based on what you know today.

WEEK 2: Tuesday, October 10, 2017

SESSION 1: Maker Space on a Shoestring

3:30-4:00 PM ET

What if you could build an entire makerspace— top to bottom—in a single day and with very little budget? It might sound impossible, but that’s just what Justin Aglio did at the Montour School District in McKees Rocks, PA. Working with just one teacher and one parent, Justin built a low-cost makerspace at his elementary school within a day. In this session, you’ll learn how Justin was able to make this maker dream into a reality. He’ll share what went into planning, organizing, and executing his makerspace on a shoestring—from recruiting help in his school to tapping into community resources and local businesses. This session will show you that it can be done and how you can get there, too.


Justin Aglio
Justin Aglio
, Director of Innovation, Montour School District (PA)

SESSION 2: Bicycle Culture at the Oakland Public Library

4:00-4:30 PM ET

Library makerspaces can address and solve community problems. Reginald Burnette Jr. and Anthony Propernick’s bike repair project is one nontraditional effort that has done just that. In 2014, Burnette and Propernick began running bike clinics at the  Oakland Public Library to address the needs of community youth, who didn’t have access to bicycle repair shops. In this session, you’ll learn about this empowering program from ideation to funding, to execution, and learn how you might create a program to solve a problem in your own community.


Reginald Burnette Jr., Library Aide; President, the Original Scraper Bike Team, Oakland Public Library (CA)

SESSION 3: Making and Early Learning: At the Intersection of Research and Practice

4:30-5:00 PM ET

In this thought-provoking session, Lisa Brahms, Director of Learning and Research at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, provides insight into why it’s vital to introduce making and exploring very early. Brahms is the project lead on the Museum’s MakeShop, which revolves around creating authentic creative opportunities for little ones. She’ll share how making enhances both critical thinking and problem-solving skills in youngsters, as well as practical ideas that engage even the smallest makers.


Lisa Brahms
Lisa Brahms,
Director of Learning & Research, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh (PA)

Weekly Assignment:
Outline the process and approvals required to make your plan happen and conduct your first rapid program test.

WEEK 2 | Part 2: Thursday, October 12, 2017


3:30-5:00 PM ET

This special session of the Maker Workshop will feature a mix of leading tech startups that focus on innovations in making, including digital fabrication, cutting-edge software, and other exciting new technologies.

WEEK 3: Tuesday, October 17, 2017

SESSION 1: Partnering with Universities to Create Cutting EDGE Maker Projects

3:30-4:15 PM ET

Higher ed institutions can be untapped resources for public and school librarians. By focusing on emerging technology, you can build collaborative programming with local colleges and universities. This session will outline one such example, a partnership between the Studio Art, Museum, and Library departments at the University of Oklahoma. ArtEDGE provided public school students with experiential learning opportunities, involving art and cutting edge tech, including 3D scanning/printing and virtual reality. During this session, you will learn how to take advantage of institutional resources and networks, including how to establish a partnership with local colleges and universities and develop innovative programming, to teach 21st century skills.


Matt Cook Melissa Ski
Matt Cook,
Emerging Technologies Coordinator, Fred Jones Jr., Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma (OK)
Melissa Ski, Director of Education, Fred Jones Jr., Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma (OK)

SESSION 2: Creating Low-Tech and No-Tech Makerspaces

4:15-5:00 PM ET

Want to create a dynamic makerspace but don’t have the budget to access cutting-edge technology? Here you’ll glean the ins-and-outs of growing a project from scratch, showing how you can do a lot with very little. Robert Pronovost, consultant for school makerspaces and former director of curriculum and instruction at an East Palo Alto district will show you how low-tech maker projects can foster creativity and discovery through authentic exploration and tinkering. He’ll share low-tech projects with a high learning return that will help get your makerspace off the ground right now.


Robert Pronovost
Robert Pronovost, Educator, Makerspace Consultant, and Founder of EmpowerMINT, Redwood City (CA)

Weekly Assignment:
Build out your program plan by mapping out the details of what you’ll need to move forward and conduct your second rapid program test.

WEEK 4: Tuesday, October 24, 2017

SESSION 1: From Side Hustle to Startup: Fostering Entrepreneurs in Your Community

3:30-4:15 pm

You’ve heard of the co-working space; in this session we’ll consider the co-making space. You’ll hear from the founders of an industrial space that has been repurposed as a hub for entrepreneurs, innovators, artists, and makers of all kinds. Their space houses textile and fashion equipment, laser cutters, wood and metal shops, large format printers, 3D scanners and printers, and more. It’s a space where individuals can experiment, create prototypes, and manufacture their products. The founders will share lessons learned on the path to creating their fully-functioning co-making space and ideas for how you can translate those lessons into your makerspace planning.


Nuha Nazy and Emilia Rogowska, Co-founders, Z-axis Factory

SESSION 2: Community-Responsive Making: From Serving the Underserved to Engaging the Disengaged, Meeting User Need Through Your Makerspace

4:15-5:00 PM ET

During this final session of our Maker Workshop, Trixie Dantis, Teen Services Supervisor, and Kerry Devitt, Tween Librarian at Arlington Heights Memorial Library in Illinois, will share their deep insights into connecting with patrons to develop programming that is not only successful, but transformative. They’ll discuss the projects they’ve developed – from outreach services to engage underserved audiences, to a program designed to help fight youth obesity, to Summer Volunteer Squad, a summer learning initiative providing teens unique experiences from growing their own produce, coding, and more. Trixie and Kerry will take us through the many ways in which making in a library context can provide meaningful opportunities to connect, and also to change lives.


Trixie Dantis, Teen Services Supervisor, Arlington Heights Memorial Library (IL), Library Journal Mover & Shaker 2017
Kerry Devitt
, Tween Librarian, Arlington Heights Memorial Library (IL)

Weekly Assignment:
Finalize and prepare to launch your maker program by filling in the gaps in your plans, incorporating your field test results, establishing your launch timeline and preparing your presentation for approval.