Academic Library Makerspaces

A Practical Guide to Planning, Collaborating, and Supporting Campus Innovation

by Katy B. Mathuews and Daniel J. Harper


Teaches academic librarians how makerspaces can be built and sustained to support a campus culture of innovation.

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Cover image for Academic Library Makerspaces

June 2020

Libraries Unlimited

Pages 150
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Librarian's Instructional Role/Information Literacy and Instruction, College Level and Above
  Adult Services and Programs/General
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Moving beyond simplistic equipment lists, this book provides contextual and practical information to help academic library personnel learn how to plan, collaborate, and sustain relevant makerspaces positioned within the broader ecology of campus innovation.

The makerspace movement within academic libraries has largely focused on providing space and equipment for making. Academic libraries, however, have a unique opportunity to push beyond the 3D printer to create makerspaces that complement the broader ecology of innovation happening on campus.

Intended for academic library personnel, this book is for those seeking guidance on how to establish a makerspace that is more than an equipment room. Katy Mathuews and Daniel Harper provide important context for the maker movement, a review of the process of making, and an overview of the various types of makerspaces, including the hub-and-spoke model, the centralized model, and the mobile makerspace.

Additionally, the book provides practical steps to consider, including situating the academic library makerspace within the campus environment, creating valuable collaborations on campus, finding innovative ways to support the entire making process, programming, curriculum planning, and sustaining daily operations such as staffing, funding, and public service.


  • Understand how making fits into the campus ecology of innovation and how academic libraries are naturally suited to support the maker movement
  • Understand the history of the maker movement, makerspace typologies, and the making process
  • Learn how to build sustainable relationships with campus and community collaborators
  • Learn what to consider when establishing a library makerspace, including planning, staffing, and funding
  • Understand how traditional library services can complement the makerspace and making process, including programming and instruction
Author Info

Katy B. Mathuews, MA, MLIS, PhD, is head of collections assessment and access, and coordinating director of specialized collections at Ohio University's main campus. She is an executive board member of the Academic Library Association of Ohio, serving as its president in 2019–2020. Mathuews has authored over 20 scholarly and professional publications. Her research interests include academic library assessment, academic library's contribution to student success, library space, and understanding and supporting marginalized student groups. She has presented her work nationally and internationally at many conferences.

Daniel J. Harper, MID, PhD, is assistant professor of interior architecture at Ohio University. Following a nearly two decades–long career as a practicing designer, Harper has held various positions with the Interior Design Educators Council, including past regional chair for the Midwest and associate editor of the IDEC Exchange. Harper is an active member of the American Society of Interior Designers. His research interests include the design of educational spaces, work styles and workplace strategy, and higher education pedagogy and practices. He has presented both nationally and internationally at many conferences.

Other Titles of Interest

Makers with a Cause cover imageMaker Literacy cover imageCreating Makers cover image
School Library Makerspaces in Action cover imageChallenge-Based Learning in the School Library Makerspace cover imageEngaging Design cover image

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