5 Publishers That Will Rock Your MakerSpace
Although I have a totally spectacular (if not a little too small) teen fiction collection at my library, I also have a totally rocking (if not a little too small) collection of Maker books in my Teen MakerSpace at The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County (OH). In fact, we have a rule: for every maker activity in our Teen MakerSpace, we must have at least 1 supporting book. We are, after all, in the business of promoting books and reading as well as making. Also, some people are visual learners and books really work for them. In fact, on Thursday, a teen boy came into our Teen MakerSpace for the first time and he was excited about our maker collection; he walked out that evening with 10 books and said we had the best collection of books ever. Today, I am going to share with you the publishers I look to to help build this awesome collection.
Make publishes a wide variety of books that are primarily making, hacking and technology focused. Make books make up about 1/3 of our Teen MakerSpace collection. They cover topics like electronics, coding, Arduino, Raspberry Pi and more. They also produce a monthly magazine which we subscribe to and I highly recommend.
Quarto Books make up another 1/3 of our Teen MakerSpace collection. Many of these titles are more arts and crafts focused, but we often combine the various ideas with our tech. Although to be honest, we have found that our teens like traditional crafting just as much as they like more tech focused making.
For example, we used the Map Art Lab activity and used it to make book related buttons using our button makers (TPiB: The Books of Our Heart Button). Quarto produces an Art Lab series which I highly recommend. In addition, that have a Super Skills series which breaks down things like movie making and vlogging/blogging into 10 easy steps.
Lark Craft focuses almost exclusively on more traditional crafts, particularly fiber related crafts and jewelry making. They have a few great titles on book making which I also highly recommend.
No Starch Press is an excellent resource for books on learning coding and Lego building of all sorts. We have a ton of these books in our collection and they do not stay in.
DK has always been a big part of quality publishing and they have really embraced the maker movement. They have some good books on Scratch coding and have recently published a new Maker Lab book.
And 2 Honorable Mentions
Zest Books is a great place to get pop culture titles. Although they don’t have a lot of Maker related titles, they have a couple that are pretty cool.
Abdo Books actually have a lot of quality maker titles, though they tend to skew younger and be more expensive. However, they cover some topics that I have found it harder to find and they have several series that focus on material types – like metal, for example – which can be quite fun.
What other publishers do you look to to fill your maker needs? Please leave a comment and share with me, I’m always looking for more resources to check out.
Filed under: Makerspace
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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