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Make Everywhere

Skokie Public Library, IL

Contact: Carolyn Anthony,


Skokie Public Library engages our community with integrated participatory spaces and supports active learning throughout the lifecycle. Community members know to expect a range of choices when they walk in the door as to how they can learn during their time here. Whether patrons drop in to make process art in our family craft room or stumble upon a pop-up activity in one of our young adult areas, making happens everywhere at Skokie Public Library.

Our technology labs and computer classrooms help patrons explore new skillsets and information. The digital media lab serves as a drop-in space to work on personal projects with professional software and expert advice from staff. Youth computing areas are designed to promote informal digital literacy engagement through collaborative gaming, independent research, and media production. Project-based learning is widely advocated through classes, badging initiatives, and community showcases.

Upcoming initiatives will bring making from the library out into the community, with crafting events on our Bookmobile and STEM kits available to check out and use at home. Overall, each of the spaces and services of Skokie Public Library is designed to turn making and learning into a community-wide conversation.


Skokie Public Library’s Make Everywhere ethos has led to a number of exciting achievements through STEM learning.

Lily Born, an 11 year old girl, and Joe, her father, created a video in the Adult Digital Media Lab to help successfully crowdfund an invention for $25,000, the Kangaroo Cup. Lily was inspired to invent the Kangaroo Cup to help ease the life of her grandfather, and others, ill with Parkinson’s disease by making tipping nearly impossible.  

Since September 2013 forty-nine badges have been earned by children in Skokie Library’s Maker Master Challenge. Children earn badges through completing learning objectives by mastering using greenscreen techniques to edit videos and photos, creating a program with introductory software such as Scratch, and much more.

Skokie in Motion, a 5 minutes film festival, inspired area auteurs of all ages to envision, direct, and produce short films shown to a crowd in our 200 seat auditorium.

The Library ran a luge building project. Children were given a coffee can, pipe insulation, masking tape and marbles. Based on active learning precepts children were directed to figure out how to shape the insulation into a luge that had at least two loops and one jump. The children were heavily engaged. Once the caregivers returned to view the demonstrations a multigenerational learning synergy event spontaneously occurred. This program was so successful that children wanted to stay and asked to take equipment home to continue iterating ideas with parents and siblings: