What is this site?
MakerBridge is a community that welcomes all makers but is focused especially on librarians, teachers, and other educators. We exist to help people find answers and advice as they set out to create a makerspace, run activities, or maintain their makerspace. We see ourselves as discussion facilitators and “makerbrarians”–we are the librarians who specialize in helping you get answers and connect to the maker community.
What is a maker? What is a makerspace?
Dale Grover of Maker Works in Ann Arbor describes makerspaces as “tools + support + community.” In makerspaces, people share tools, skills, and ideas, and often work together on projects. In these spaces, learning is hands-on, collaborative, and often crosses traditional divisions such as age or level of formal education. Instead, makerspaces focus on bringing together people to explore and create around projects that interest and excite them.

Makerspaces are a part of maker culture, which focuses on DIY projects and values creation over consumption. Other terms used for makerspaces include hackerspaces, hacklabs, or fab labs. A maker is anyone who participates in maker culture.

For the MakerBridge team, the most important element of makers and maker culture is people. Although creating something alone at home or in your garage might technically count as making, we see the larger movement as being about community, sharing, and learning from each other.

Who can join? How do you join?
Anyone with an interest in making or makerspaces is welcome in the MakerBridge community–you don’t need to have any prior knowledge at all, just an interest! We don’t have any formal membership, but you can follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our blog’s RSS feed. You can also participate by reading and commenting on our blog posts, submitting reviews and resources, or getting in touch with us about writing a guest post if you’ve got something to share. Got a question for the MakerBridge community? Contact us through the website or tweet at us and we’ll help you reach out to other makers and educators to see what advice others have.
Who runs MakerBridge?
MakerBridge was founded by Sharona Ginsberg, an alumna of the University of Michigan School of Information who currently works for SUNY Oswego as Learning Technologies Librarian.

The current MakerBridge team consists of four people: Sharona Ginsberg, Kristin Fontichiaro, Emily Mitchell, and Ayla Stein. All of us work full-time at separate jobs and contribute to MakerBridge in our spare time.

Many thanks go to the following people, who contributed to this site’s development and helped get it off the ground:

Heather Newman
Director of Marketing and Communications
University of Michigan School of Information

Kelly Davenport
Web Project Manager, Michigan MultiMedia (M3)
University of Michigan Medical School Information Services

Michael Hess
Programmer/Analyst Senior and Adjunct Lecturer
University of Michigan School of Information

Caitlin Rozich
Metadata Librarian

Are you officially affiliated with a university?
The University of Michigan’s School of Information allows us to host the site on their servers and one of the MakerBridge team (Kristin Fontichiaro) works as a faculty member there. MakerBridge and the School of Information support each other in their respective missions. Despite these connections, we are not officially affiliated with the university or with any university. Sharona Ginsberg and Emily Mitchell work at SUNY Oswego, and Ayla Stein works at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
MakerBridge in the press

MakerBridge Site and Blog Show Diversity in Maker Movement | School Library Journal – 06/17/2015

Sharona Ginsberg Profile – Movers & Shakers 2015 | Library Journal – 03/20/2015

Makers Gonna Make: The Rise of Makerspaces in Libraries | Consumer Electronics Association – 10/23/2014

Maker Culture in the Library | Publishers Weekly – 06/13/2014

MakerBridge: A New Community Portal | YALSA Blog – 03/05/2013