Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education-Literacy Studies: TESOL (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

College of Education

First Advisor

Dr. Nagnon Diarrassouba

Academic Year



Refugee adolescents go through multiple transitions that affect identity while settling in their new country of relocation. The ability to recognize the complexity of identity in a healthy way is fostered by safe spaces of belonging that encourage agency. Libraries, as spaces already effectively serving diverse populations including refugee youth, have the resources to be a safe space for these adolescents. One resource that has been trending in libraries is a makerspace. Makerspaces offer multimodal activities, whether they be arts-based or STEM-based, that not only encourage critical thought, but also allow for development of belonging and agency for healthy dynamic identity formation. Using a funds of identity and space-making theoretical framework, this project gathered data from empirical studies to establish what safe spaces for healthy identity formation for refugee youth look like, how makerspaces can be constructed to fit these requirements, and what positive outcomes in healthy identity formation might result. Spaces for healthy refugee identity formation are spaces that create belonging through community, and agency through the ability to do collaborative multimodal activities that are strengths-based. Establishing a quality makerspace for refugee youth would contain refugee-centered research to create what tools and resources would be available and could have residual benefits for the library staff and patrons in building capacity. These findings result in a guidebook for public libraries on how to establish a makerspace that specifically caters to refugee identity formation to empower and amplify refugee adolescent voices amidst transition.