The New Face of Library Makerspaces- Invitation to Participate

Message for PLIX libraries and feel free to share -

I’m very grateful for the community the PLIX has supported and grown here focused on facilitating creative learning experiences! This is all amazing, wonderful work. And I know what its like as a librarian running public programs, that you have a lot to juggle, and program content is just one part of what it takes to run inclusive, high quality library maker programs, So I wanted to let you know about a project that I am helping to lead, The New Face of Library Makerspaces which is setting out to help library staff members think through and help one another with those other parts of the work- staffing, operations, budgeting, training, marketing, evaluation, outreach and community engagement. My colleague Lisa Regalla and I were happy to receive IMLS funding for this 2-yr project. We both are so impressed by how resourceful and inventive library staff members have been to offer a re-invented versions of their maker/arts/STEM programs during the pandemic. So we applied for an IMLS grant, in partnership with Nation of Makers, to support a network (we call it a Collective) – read more below about the first phase and call for 6-7 diverse leader libraries to get in at the ground level! Maybe you and your library should apply! We hope you consider it. (And on Friday Nov 5 at 9 AM PT we will host an information session-details are below)

An opportunity to lead
In conjunction with a 2-year IMLS Grant Project The New Face of Library Makerspaces , we are looking for 6-7 libraries to serve as Charter Members to help lay the foundation for a national Collective, and take a leadership role in the project. The libraries chosen will have their profile raised in the field and be featured on both the Makers in the Library and Nation of Makers websites. They will also be at the forefront of leading the direction the field takes on library makerspaces and help decide the priorities for this Collective, the questions we address, and the ways we learn and grow together.

Charter Members will receive a stipend for committing to the following through August 31, 2023:

  • Create systems and processes for how the Collective will be run such as: shaping the mission/vision, fostering communication channels, building systems to grow the membership, etc.
  • Alert Collective leaders to important issues that arise in the field and help to lead activities (e.g., a survey of the field) to learn how libraries have modified services during the pandemic.
  • Serve as a mentor for other libraries to help build their capacity to create community-centered maker programming.
    Visit our website for more information and details on how to apply

Want to learn more?

Project staff will be running a live informational session on Zoom to tell you more about the project and answer any questions you may have.

Please join us :

Friday, November 5 @ 9 am PST - Join via this Zoom link.


  • Applications due by Nov. 15, 2021 (we will extend deadline if needed)
  • Interviews with finalists will take place the weeks of Nov. 29 - Dec. 10, 2021
  • Announcements will be made no later than Dec. 20, 2021
  • Charter Members must commit to staying engaged with the Collective project through at least the lifetime of the grant (Aug. 31, 2023).

Thanks everyone! Feel free to post questions here in the forum too!
Pamela Van Halsema, MLIS
Makers in the Library + The New Face of Library Makerspaces


What an exciting opportunity!