making makerspaces: pathfinder

From an assignment to create a pathfinder at information school.

Pathfinder location:

Makerspaces (literally spaces to make in) are a reworking of ancient ideas on creativity and utility, applied to contemporary technology. ‘Making’ in this context is best understood as the antithesis of ‘consuming’ (TEDx Talks, 2013).

Libraries have arguably always been makerspaces of sorts, giving people access to ideas and technology such as written language (Gnanadesikan, 2009), books, and of late, computers and WiFi. There is an increased interest in digitally creative makerspaces in libraries, and this pathfinder looks to provide a way to access information on creating such makerspaces in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The concept of the Tohunga is central to this pathfinder. Tohunga were ‘experts’ in their field, and also visionaries that guided their people to knowledge (Keane, 2013). The lack of texts or books on makerspaces is in stark contrast to plentiful and diverse maker activity. Using a Tohunga approach emphasises a connection from the pre-literate past to the post-literate future (Sauerberg & Pettitt, 2013), promotes an understanding of information as being experiential in nature, and encourages conversation and collaboration as a relevant route to knowledge.

Web based blogging software was used to create this pathfinder to make it practically useful, and accessible to search engines. Using blog software also enables the blog to automatically collect feeds from other blogs and social media. This helps keep the site functional and relevant, even without regular updates from the site administrator. An additional feature is the ability to subscribe to the updates on the blog, making information accessible without regular visits.



Gnanadesikan, A. E. (2009). The First IT Revolution. In The Writing Revolution: Cuneiform to the Internet (pp. 1–12). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Keane, B. (2013). Story: Traditional Māori religion – ngā karakia a te Māori Page 2 – Tohunga. Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved May 4, 2014, from

Sauerberg, L. O., & Pettitt, T. (2013). The future is medieval. Retrieved from

TEDx Talks. (2013). We Need to Teach Our Kids to be Makers: Marita Cheng at TEDxSydney. Sydney, Australia. Retrieved from