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School librarians and teachers “make” their way into the future of libraries

November 26, 2018 | Filed in Archive

The HFM BOCES School Library System (SLS) held its annual fall workshop on Wednesday, Oct. 24 at the HFM BOCES main campus.

A student stands at a podium with a Powerpoint in the background as she presents to a crowd of people seated at tables.

A Canajoharie High School student with the school’s Computer Science Internship (CSI) program presents to HFM area school librarians Oct. 24.

School librarians in the HFM area requested the workshop, which focused on makerspaces, in reaction to the recent trend to expand the scope of school libraries as spaces to create.

The workshop included presentations by school librarians and students from the area. The event started with a makerspace panel composed of librarians representing the elementary, middle, and high school level, which outlined the myriad of ways they incorporate the idea of “making” in their libraries to enhance students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

The day continued with a presentation and hands-on session to introduce Breakout EDU taught by a student from Canajoharie High School’s Computer Science Intern program. Breakout EDU is an escape-room like critical thinking game. Students use teamwork, problem-solving, and critical thinking to solve curriculum based clues and “break-in” to a locked box.

The morning session finished with another session taught by a Canajoharie High School Computer Science Intern that focused on the website Librarians and

librarians play a table top game with each other.

Area school librarians play an escape-room like critical thinking game during the HFM BOCES School Library System annual fall workshop.

teachers spent their time learning about the project, exploring the website, and using the site’s interactive feature to practice the basics of computer coding.

The afternoon was spent with a representative from Barnes & Noble, who brought many different types of makerspace materials, equipment, and of course books. Teachers and librarians were able to test the materials and equipment and discuss its application in their school libraries.

The event was well received and attended by 29 participants including 25 school librarians and teachers and four Computer Science Interns from Canajoharie High School. The HFM BOCES Instructional Resource Center has makerspace materials available for teachers to borrow on their website, You can contact the SLS at (518) 736-4370 or email HFM BOCES School Library Media Specialist Tariyka Chaulk,, for more information.

The HFM BOCES School Library System (SLS) provides its member libraries with coordinated material sharing, access to resources, and maintains the shared SLS automation system. The SLS also investigates new technologies and leads to provide professional development for our member media specialists.


A Barnes and Noble representative stands next to a table covering in makerspace material as she speaks with gathered librarians.

A representative from Barnes & Noble discusses different types of makerspace materials, equipment, and books.