Books for educators interested in starting a makerspace

Books for educators interested in starting a makerspace

This week, I’ve been reading The Makerspace Playbook: School Edition.  It’s full of great information and ideas for anyone looking to start a makerspace, and I fully recommend it.  One of the best parts (besides the fact that it’s free) is that it keeps recommending other books and resources for more information.  Those recommended titles have topics ranging from pedagogy, to how to lay out your space, to how to choose what tools to acquire, to all kinds of other useful information for anyone who’s looking to set up their own makerspace.

It occurred to me that I should write these recommendations down.  Then it occurred to me that I should throw in the other maker-related books that have been recommended to me at various times.  Then it occurred to me to ask my fellow MakerBridge bloggers for their recommendations (thanks, guys!).  If all of this strikes you as crazy, well, bear in mind that I’m a librarian.  I can’t help myself!

The result is below: a list of recommended books for anyone interested in starting a makerspace in their school, library, or other educational space (though really, what makerspace isn’t educational?).  If you have a recommendation that you don’t see on the list, leave a comment or tweet it to me!  I’m always happy to add more to the list, and my to-read list is definitely not long enough yet.


The Maker Movement

Anderson, C. (2012). Makers: The new industrial revolution. New York: Crown.
–By former Wired editor and DIY Drones CEO Chris Anderson (The Long Tail, etc.)

Hatch, M. (2013). Maker Movement Manifesto: Rules for innovation in the new world of crafters, hackers, and tinkerers. [S.I.]: Mcgraw-Hill.
–Written by the co-founder of Tech Shop. Releases 9/27/2013. Currently available for preview via

Making your makerspace happen

Doorley, S., & Witthoft, S. (2012). Make Space: How to set the stage for creative collaboration. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons.

Kemp, A. (2013). The Makerspace Workbench: Tools, technologies, and techniques for making. Sebastopol, CA: Maker Media, Inc.
–Chapter 8, “Learning in a makerspace,” looks particularly relevant for educators.
This title was added on 12/13/2013, after the original publication of this post. Recommendation from Gretchen Giles.

Make. (2011). Make: Ultimate Workshop and Tool Guide. O’Reilly Media.

Makerspace. (2013). Makerspace Playbook: School edition. Maker Media. CC BY-NC-SA.
–Tips on everything you need to think about when you start planning your makerspace: spaces, safety, tools, roles, you name it!

Makerspace. (2012). High School Makerspace Tools & Materials. O’Reilly Media.

Young Makers. (2012). Maker Club Playbook. O’Reilly Media.


Psychology, pedagogy, etc.

Alexander, B., Allison, P., et al. (2012). The Peeragogy Handbook.

Brown, S.L. (2009). Play: How it shapes the brain, opens the imagination, and invigorates the soul. New York: Avery.
–Recommended in Makerspace Playbook.

Dweck, C.S. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York: Random House.
–Not explicitly about making, but the “growth” mindset discussed here is mentioned in the Makerspace Playbook as being highly relevant to makers.

Honey, M., & Kanter, D. (2013). Design, Make, Play: Growing the next generation of STEM innovators. New York: Routledge.

Martinez, S.L., & Stager, G. (2013). Invent to Learn: Making, tinkering, and engineering in the classroom. Torrance, CA: Constructing Modern Knowledge Press.
–Educators Martinez and Stager lay out a strong foundation for why and how to start a maker cultuer in a K-12 classroom.

Papert, S. (1993). Mindstorms: Children, computers, and powerful ideas. New York: Basic Books.


Mims, F.M. (1983). Getting Started in Electronics. Fort Worth: Radio Shack.
–This one’s a recommendation given to me by Jason Kridner of

Cooper, T. (2013, August 21). The Best Electronics Books for #backtoschool. adafruit blog. Retrieved from
–All right, yes, I cheated here. But why reinvent the wheel when adafruit already put together a list?


Krause, J. (2004). Design Basics Index. Cincinnati, OH: How Design Books.
–Recommended to me by some design-minded folks over at Ex Libris.

Norman, D. (2013). The Design of Everday Things (Revised Edition). [S.I.]: Basic Books.
–The revised edition actually isn’t due to be released until November, but I’m excited for it already.

Williams, R. (2008). The Non-designer’s Design & Type Books: Design and typographic principles for the visual novice. Berkeley, CA: Peachpit Press.
–A recommendation via Librarian Design Share.

Tie-ins to specific subject material

Belcastro, S., & Yackel, C. (2011). Crafting by concepts: Fiber arts and mathematics. Natick, MA: A K Peters.


Do you know of any titles we should add to this list?  Leave them in the comments!


Image Credit: “Books 6” by Flickr user Brenda Clarke

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