May 23 to June 6, 2018

Don’t miss the newest installment of this popular online course to learn from a brand new lineup of experienced leaders. Topics will include health and wellness maker programs, how to engage underserved users, crowdfunding your makerspace, launching a sustainable maker program from scratch, and more.

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
Bridged with Online Workshops and Discussions. Session start times vary; see program below.

Plus special sessions added: On Thursday, Oct 12, join the Maker Expo with product giveaways. On Monday, Oct 16, join a special live keynote session with Bill Nye, followed by a sponsored demo and raffle from littleBits!

ShareShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on TumblrShare on RedditShare on Google+Print this pageEmail this to someone

This newest installment of Maker Workshop—from School Library Journal and Library Journal— features all new content to help you stay up to date on new ways of sparking engagement and hands-on learning. Course sessions explore multiple technologies, digital making, STEAM, and web literacy in programs and ideas for all ages. This program includes a special Maker Expo featuring demos from leading tech startups that focus on innovations in making, from crafting and skateboard design to coding tools and robotics. Throughout the program, you’ll dig into up-to-the-minute topics and tools alongside innovative experts from school, public, and academic settings and authorities from beyond the library world.

This 4-week online course features weekly guest speakers, live via web video, in interactive sessions with Q&A. You’ll 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.

As a participant in the course, you will view live keynote sessions and join the conversation via live chat. (All sessions are recorded for access later on.) Most important, you’ll work with a dedicated advisor in an online coaching environment to gather resources and best practices and connect with peers from across North America (and beyond).

Outcome: Throughout the course, you will build an actionable blueprint for a maker program that fits your budget and serves the very specialized needs of your community, whether you’re serving children, teens, or adults.

Your registration also grants you complimentary access to SLJ’s Maker Hub!

Launching in September, the Maker Hub will host more than 30, expert-led sessions from our past Maker Workshops.

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.

New Speakers Added!

Austin Kleon

Austin Kleon

New York Times best-selling author of three illustrated books: Steal Like An Artist, Newspaper Blackout, and Show Your Work! His latest release is the interactive journal, The Steal Like An Artist Journal: A Notebook For Creative Kleptomaniacs

Bill Nye

Bill Nye

Science Educator, Mechanical Engineer, and New York Times best-selling author; Bill Nye is the author of the new book Everything All at Once (Rodale Books)

Sponsored by:


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

Welcome to Class
Log into class early to test your settings and say hello.

3:15-3:30 PM ET

School Library Journal executive editor Kathy Ishizuka, who designed this course, will welcome you to class and provide insights into the course structure, speaker program, and assignments to help you get the most out of class.  


Kathy Ishizuka
Kathy Ishizuka
, Executive Editor,
School Library Journal

Keynote Just Added

Bill Nye
Engineer and author of the new book Everything All at Once (Rodale Books), shows how thinking like a nerd is the key to changing yourself and the world around you. In his live Maker Workshop presentation, Nye will share his discoveries and join in the audience Q&A.

SESSION 1: Opening Keynote: How To Steal Like An Artist: Creative Lessons for Your Makerspace

3:30-4:15 PM ET

In this exciting opening session of the Maker Workshop, writer, artist, and creative dynamo Austin Kleon will share his insights into the creative process, including the numerous tips and tricks he’s gleaned over over the years as a creator in a digital world. You’ll learn how his approach to leading a creative life transcends the art world as he shares lessons that can be applied to robust making – and living.

Austin is the the New York Times best-selling author of three illustrated books: Steal Like An Artist, Newspaper Blackout, and Show Your Work! His latest release is the interactive journal The Steal Like An Artist Journal: A Notebook For Creative Kleptomaniacs.


Austin Kleon
Austin Kleon
, writer and artist; author of Steal Like An Artist

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
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 Academic Achievement and District Innovation & Visiting LearnLab Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University (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.


Reggie Burnette Jr. headshot_circle_0_placeholder
Reginald “RB” Burnette Jr., Library Aide; President, the Original Scraper Bike Team, Oakland Public Library (CA)
Anthony Propernick, Senior Library Assistant; Manager, 81st Avenue Branch, 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:

Beau Trifiro, Founder, Open Source Skateboards
Jeremy Macdonald, Education Content + Training Manager, Sphero
Dani Hammernik
, Education Marketing Manager, Sphero
Josh Stevens, Community Director, Pixel Press (Bloxels)
Jie Qi, Co-founder and Creative Director, Chibitronics
Colleen Graves, Teacher Librarian + Makey Makey Jedi, Makey Makey
Jason Innes, Manager of Training and Curriculum Development, KinderLab Robotics

Maker Workshop registrants will also be entered into a raffle to win giveaways from presenting companies, including:

Sphero SPRK+ ($129.99 value)
Chibitronics Starter Kit w/ Circuit Sticker Sketchbook ($30 value)
Bloxels Brainstorming Kits ($15.95 value)
Bloxels 200 Block Set ($15.95 value)
Open Source Skateboards Fingerboard Kits ($11 value)
*Winning participants will only be required to pay shipping and handling 

WEEK 3 SPECIAL SESSION: Monday, October 16, 2017

SESSION 1: Special Keynote Session with Bill Nye

1:00-1:45 PM ET

Best-selling author Bill Nye, author of the new book Everything All at Once (Rodale Books), believes that “unleashing your inner nerd” is the key to changing yourself and the world around you. In this live Maker Workshop presentation, he’ll explore how, through a combination of deep examination, critical thinking, and creativity, we can solve the world’s problems. He’ll also share why now, more than ever, we need to unleash our radical curiosity. He’ll answer questions in a live audience Q&A after the inspiring special session.


Bill Nye
Bill Nye
, Author, Presenter, Engineer, Author of Everything All at Once (Rodale Books)

SESSION 2: Makerspace in a Box: Getting Started with littleBits – Sponsored SessionlittleBits

1:00-1:45 PM ET

littleBits makes technology kits that are fun, easy-to-use, and infinitely creative. The kits are composed of electronic building blocks that are color-coded, magnetic, and make complex technology simple and fun. Senior Product Lead, Dave Sharp, will share innovative ways to get started using littleBits in a classroom or school library. Live attendees will be have a chance to win one littleBits STEAM Student Set (Value: $299.95)


David Sharp
Dave Sharp, Senior Product Lead, littleBits

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: Turn Any Space Into a Maker Space – Sponsored Session3branch

3:00-3:30 PM ET

Finding the space for a maker program may be a challenge. Learn how to transform your library’s interior space into a hands-on learning environment using field-tested techniques and resources.


headshot_circle_0_placeholder headshot_circle_0_placeholder
Tiffany NashPrincipal, Product Architecture + Design, 3branch
Joseph Frueh, Vice President, 3branch

SESSION 2: Funding Your Maker Program: A Grassroots Approach

3:30-4:15 PM ET

Energized about your maker program ideas but baffled as to how you’ll fund them? Kristina Holzweiss, founder of SLIME (Students of Long Island Maker Expo), School Librarian of the Year (2015), and tenacious fundraiser will take you through the process of accessing small grants and using available tools to fund your project and supplement your budget, no matter how small. Holzweiss, who has raised $25,000 through individual donations via Donors Choose, and has stocked her library with a wealth of maker tools, will share how she’s managed to build an incredible, diverse program from modest grants from local companies, civic associations, and her community.


Kristina Holzweiss
Kristina Holzweiss, School Library Media Specialist, Bayshore School District (NY), SLJ School Librarian of the Year (2015), Founder, SLIME (Students of Long Island Maker Expo)

SESSION 3: 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 Kerry Devitt
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.