Future of Library and Museum Services Supporting Teen Learning: Perceptions of Professionals in Learning Labs and Makerspaces

Kyungwon Koh, June Abbas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Learning Labs and Makerspaces provide informal learning spaces in which teens can create, invent, socialize, and work with mentors and peers. These innovative learning spaces facilitate teens’ authentic and social learning experiences, promoting their twenty-first-century skills and multiple literacies. Little research has focused on the challenges, achievements, or goals of professionals in these spaces. This study addresses this gap by studying the experiences and perceptions of learning space professionals. The research question is: What are the challenges, achievements, and goals perceived by professionals of learning spaces in libraries and museums? We discovered the following challenges: having enough personnel, obtaining necessary funding, changing the perceptions of library and teen learning, being able to develop a vision, and providing consistent access to the space. Achievements included: increased teen engagement, staff developing necessary skills, and changing the perception of what a learning space can provide. Goals emphasized the desire to sustain and expand learning space programming, as well as other professional goals. Evaluation approaches included mainly outcome measures, though some output measures continue to be used. Lastly, implications for practice and LIS education are discussed.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Research on Libraries & Young Adults
Volume6
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2015

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