We live in a world that’s becoming increasingly dependent on technology. While this has opened up new possibilities for our society, it’s also reduced the amount of time we spend socializing with one another in person. People spend more time today looking at their phones, tvs, and computers and less time at places like libraries, churches, playgrounds, and parks.
Social interaction is vital for the community because it allows people to build relationships with each other and help each other succeed. When people in a community can depend on each other for support, the community becomes stronger as a whole. The quality of living is improved for everyone. Without social interaction, people become isolated and are left to fend for themselves. And unfortunately many communities have already drifted in this direction.
However, there are many libraries, schools, and public buildings that are working to change the current state of things. Their goal is to bring communities back together. And they’re doing it with makerspaces. Here’s how.
The Maker Movement Explained
The maker movement is a growing movement that aims to connect people with like minded interests by creating places where they can interact and converse by participating in hands on projects. These environments where people gather to make, create, and build things are called makerspaces.
The Benefits of Placing Makerspaces in Schools, Libraries & Public Buildings
Adding makerspaces to public buildings such as libraries, schools, and rec centers makes it easy for members of the community to access them. Once made accessible, makerspaces quickly become valuable resources for the community and an important hub for social interaction. Here are some of the ways that communities can benefit.
Makerspaces provide a place where people of all ages can come together, interact, and learn from another. This type of intergenerational learning can be extremely valuable for both younger and older members of the community.1 Through the process of making, younger people can learn important life skills and social skills from their adult peers. Elderly adults also benefit from the interaction because it gives them a sense of belonging and purpose.
Equal access to resources
Makerspaces are excellent equalizers. According to education experts Laura Fleming and Billy Krakower, “Great makerspaces democratize learning. They make materials, supplies, and concepts available and accessible to all learners.”2 Adding makerspaces to libraries, community recreational centers, and schools gives community members access to technology, supplies, and materials that can be useful for developing skills that allow them to succeed in their lives and careers.
In these ways, makerspaces can be extremely beneficial for a community and provide support that people need to become active contributors to society and live productive, fulfilling lives.
Add a Makerspace to your Library, School, or Public Building
If you belong to a library, school, or organization that’s interested in adding a makerspace to your building, please do not hesitate to reach out. One of our team members would be more than happy to chat with you about your project and discuss ideas for improving your space. Call or email us today to get in touch.
1. See also Silvie Barma, Rollande Deslandes, and Margarida Romero. Implementing Maker Spaces to Promote Cross-Generational Sharing and Learning. Oct. 2017. Research Gate.
2. Laura Fleming and Billy Krakower. Makerspaces and Equal Access to Learning. July 2016. Edutopia. <https://www.edutopia.org/blog/makerspaces-equal-access-to-learning-laura-fleming-billy-krakower>