Empowering Rural Libraries as Sites for Youth Informal Learning through Making

While the role of makerspaces within public libraries has been discussed in the literature, it predominantly focused on urban libraries despite that small-town and rural libraries compose of most of public libraries in the U.S. Research indicates that rural libraries have different resources, skills, and constraints which impact their librarianship. Without understanding rural libraries’ resources (i.e., interests, expertise, constraints) and an explicit effort to align with their ongoing practices, the sustainability and impact of makerspaces in rural libraries is potentially lessened. In this study, we investigate the rural librarians’ perspectives related to makerspaces, youth informal learning, and community engagement.