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The Makerspace Working Group was created in 2016 with the following charge:

To investigate the development of a makerspace in Milner Library’s uLab space. Specifically, the project team will explore the professional literature, perform a needs assessment, gather feedback from campus and external users and identify potential campus and off-campus partners to define what should be included in the makerspace. The team will produce a schedule for development of the makerspace, ascertain short- and long-term expenses, identify potential staffing and corresponding professional development and training needs, and develop an assessment plan for makerspace usage.

Interest in a potential makerspace grew out of discussions by former Milner Library Dean Dr. Dane Ward with a number of other college deans who approached him about the development of such a campus space in Milner Library. In addition, the library was re-considering the use of the uLab computer lab space which has experienced a precipitous drop in usage—over 88% in the last sixteen years. Since Milner Library was beginning to consider a comprehensive space planning process, the results of the working group will inform that process in FY18. Lastly, campus currently does not provide a centralized developmental support center for students’ use of technology for classroom and extracurricular projects. Typical IT help desk technical support (e.g. configuring email, installing MS Office, removing malware, replacing a broken screen) is provided by the Technology Support Center and TechZone. Their scope does not include instruction on how to use or apply software or specialized equipment.

The working group utilized a design thinking process that stresses iterative and participatory planning. Following this method, the working group developed proposed solutions only after completing a discovery phase that involved considerable information gathering.

Publication Date



Milner Library, Illinois State University


Normal, IL


Library and Information Science

Milner Library Makerspace Working Group Final Report