Integrating Technology into School Libraries











Image from: TeachThought

I am fully obsessed with 3D printing. I was first introduced to the idea from an art/architecture aspect but 3D can be used in each subject of a well rounded curriculum. Here are some ways teachers can incorporate 3D printing into Math and Science lessons (9 Amazing Ways to Use 3D Printing to teach Math and Science– We Are Teachers). While makerspaces and maker culture may not be a new phenomenon (That infographic says 3D printing has been around for 30 years, what?), makerspaces are definitely beneficial to have in schools and libraries because they fosters collaboration, creativity, curiosity, and a love of tech. What are makerspaces? Scholastic helps answer that question, and why you should care, here and Huffpost answers it here. Most of my classes in the library and Information science program at USC, focus on breaking stereotypes of libraries. No longer just storage spaces for books, with librarians shushing and glaring over their tortoiseshell glasses; Libraries are a quickly becoming a means of discovery of all information literacy and technology. “Libraries and museums are being turned into “Makerspaces,” physical locations where people can come together to make (HuffPost)” Moveable furniture, interactive spaces, and new technologies are making both public and school libraries loud and fun informational spaces.


A Librarian’s Guide to Makerspaces: 16 resources – Open Education Database

Open Education Database is a great resource for school librarians, faculty, and staff to read up on new concepts, approaches, and technology for school facilities or curriculum. It’s all encompassing. This particular link I found super helpful because it’s a collection of articles and blog posts that not only describe maker culture, introduce the concept of MakerFaires, and highlight what certain libraries/librarians are doing with makerspaces, But  this collection of resources also encourage school librarians to take a tech leadership role and bring maker spaces to their libraries and schools if they have not already done so.


Extra Resources for more information:

An All-In-One Guide to Maker Culture and 3D Printing -Open Education Database

Why I Use 3D Printing in the Classroom, and You Should Too– Ultimaker

Growing Learning Communities Through School Libraries and Makerspaces-Creating, Constructing, Collaborating, Contributing– The Unquiet Librarian

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6 thoughts on “Integrating Technology into School Libraries

  1. Hi Sarah,
    I loved your resources on makerspaces. I think they are a great way to encourage collaboration and exploration. I haven’t tried 3D printing but it looks awesome and I will have to try it in my library. Thanks for the great ideas!



  2. Hey Sarah,
    Thanks for the informational post on 3D printing. I have really only known about 3D printing for maybe about five years, so I was surprised to lean that it has been around for about 30! This year, our elementary school hired a technology coach and bought a 3D printer for the library. The tech coach has been “playing around” with the printer and showed the all of the classes how it can build a fidget spinner. The students really loved that. The rest of us in the library (including the head librarian and the assistant) do not know how to use the printer so I am sure that it something we will be slowly transitioning into the library and learning about ourselves when we teach the students about it. According to the following article by McMahon, “Experiential learning through robotics, 3D printing, and virtual reality often occurs in the library media centers”, so I guess if we, as librarians, are not introducing these technological advances, then students are not likely to experience them elsewhere.

    McMahon, W. (2017, August 31). Technology trends reshape today’s libraries [Blog post]. Retrieved from


  3. Sarah,
    You are exactly right! Libraries are no longer just spaces that house books. We are in the awesome position to continue to instill a love of reading and literature, while creating unique spaces where our students can create and collaborate. The resources that you shared provide a wealth of information on makerspaces and their uses in libraries. I have been interested in 3D printing for awhile now, but have not been brave enough to implement it into my library just yet. Your blog may just the push I needed. I never realized that 3D printers could be integrated into math and social studies, the possibilities are endless! I envision my students create 3D maps and landforms. I see 3D printers being very powerful in my students’ learning. Thanks for sharing!

    -Brooke Haigler


    1. Hi Brooke,
      I had a lot of fun researching different ways to incorporate 3D designs and printing into different subjects. Making land forms, maps, and bridges was a neat lesson plan but also in the arts creating fantasy or non realistic animals, cars, or robots. The possibilities are endless!


  4. Hi Sarah, thank you for sharing these resources on makerspaces and 3D printing. Both concepts are fairly new to me as someone who is new to the LIS field. We do not have a makerspace area in our middle school library. The thought of creating a makerspace is intimidating to me. There are so many decisions that have to be made of what items to purchase and where to place them. I guess all librarians have to remember that the ultimate goal when designing a makerspace area is to meet the creative and educational needs of the users. Last year, our technology teacher received grant money to purchase a 3D printing machine and materials for it. There is now a 3D printing class that is offered to students. I think it is amazing that middle school students are being introduced to 3D printing at this age. As a future school librarian, I know I will need to be a strong advocate for technology integration and student discovery.

    Chambrike Teasley


    1. Hi Chambrike! Don’t be nervous about makerspaces, the whole idea is just about promoting curiosity and creativity and making things. You can do no wrong! Pinterest has a lot of great resources for teachers and librarians, I recommend clicking around and looking for some ideas! It may be easier than you think to incorporate these devices and technologies into your library.


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