Friday, March 15, 2013

The DIY Movement - Makerspaces in Libraries

Makerspaces, sometimes referred to as maker culture, creation labs, hackerspaces and fablabs are creative, DIY spaces where patrons can gather to create, invent, and learn. These spaces have changed the view of libraries from spaces for consumption to spaces for creation. Libraries now provide resources such as 3D printers,  Espresso machines, software, electronics, handicraft and hardware supplies and tools to Makers in Residence to assist them in developing their innovations.

The benefits of implementing  such a service include the following:
  • Maker spaces promote learning through play
  • Facilitate informal learning opportunities
  • Nurture peer-to-peer training
  • Have the potential to demystify science, math, technology, and engineering; and encourage women and under­represented minorities to seek careers in those fields.
  • They also tie in to the growing trend of indie/ independent artists in every medium—including books—who are bypassing traditional gatekeepers, taking advantage of new tools to produce professionally polished products, and going direct to the web to seek an audience.
  • Working and connecting  with community members as true partners, not as users or patrons 
  • Develop a culture of creating as opposed to consuming.  
  • Maker space—or, more specifically, the act of making—encourages and gives people permission to tinker, hack, remake, and perhaps even change society 
  iLibrarian Elyssa  Kroski does yeoman service by offering resources for librarians wishing to create makerspaces at their libraries under the headings Articles & Blog Posts, Events and Makerspace Directories.

Articles & Blog Posts
1.    Libraries, Hackspaces and E-waste: how libraries can be the hub of a young maker revolution
“…there’s another gang of information-literate people out there, a gang who are a natural ally of libraries and librarians: the maker movement. Clustered in co-operative workshops called “makerspaces” or “hack(er)spaces,” makers build physical stuff. They make robots, flying drones, 3D printers (and 3D printed stuff), jewelry, tools, printing presses, clothes, medieval armor… Whatever takes their fancy. Making in the 21st century has moved out of the individual workshop and gone networked. Today’s tinkerer work in vast, distributed communities where information sharing is the norm, where the ethics and practices of the free/open source software movement has gone physical. Such hackspaces play a prominent role in my own fiction (thanks, no doubt, to the neighborly presence to the London Hackspace, which is directly over my own office in Hackney). In my new novel,”
2.    What is a Makerspace? Creativity in the Library
“I first heard of makerspaces when, as I sat in my office, a colleague called me over to see if I wanted to join a webinar on makerspaces. Listening over her shoulder, I heard phrases like DIY, and tools kept popping up. Not the usual web-based tools talked about in webinars, physical tools… y’know, wrenches and pliers? Real tools. I’ve always seen libraries as community centers for people to gather and work together, but this? It stretched my imagination.”
3.    From Stacks to Hacks: Makerspaces and LibraryBox
The makerspace movement is gaining momentum in the library world. In his recent report on “Libraries and the informational future: some notes,” Lorcan Dempsey of OCLC noted how “space is being reconfigured around broader education and research needs, and less around the management of print collection. In effect, space is shifting from infrastructure to engagement…” Nothing represents this emerging trend more than the recent growth of makerspaces within libraries.
4.    Makerspaces, Participatory Learning, and Libraries
“The concept of libraries as makerspaces first hit my radar last November when I read about the Fayetteville Free Library’s FabLab. As I began hearing more buzz about libraries and makerspaces the first few months of this year, I decided that learning more about this concept and exploring how I might apply the elements of makerspaces to my library program would be a personal learning project for the summer.”
5.    The Makings of Maker Spaces, Part 1: Space for Creation, Not Just Consumption
“Maker spaces in libraries are the latest step in the evolving debate over what public libraries’ core mission is or should be. From collecting in an era of scarce resources to curation in an era of overabundant ones, some libraries are moving to incorporate cocreation: providing the tools to help patrons produce their own works of art or information and sometimes also collecting the results to share with other members of the ­community.”
6.    Library as Makerspace: Creating and Nurturing Communities of Teen Writers
“As part of our makerspace initiative this year (please see this blog post and this slidedeck here) and inspired by the work of the Sacramento Public Library, one of my focal points is thinking about ways the library can support creating communities of readers and writers who are crafting and composing texts (and I use the term text rather liberally). The Sacramento Public Library Winter 2012 “Write at iStreet Press” writing and publishing catalog offers a model of what the library as a makerspace for constructing texts looks like in a community through the public library. “
7.    A Makerspace Takes Over A Local Library
“Makerspaces just might take over libraries. School of Information Studies professor Dave Lankes seems to think so. In his presentation to New York State librarians earlier this month, he asked the roomful of librarians to imagine libraries as places for people to learn and create, not consume and check out. In another talk he gave in October, he declared, “What will kill our profession is not ebooks, Amazon, or Google, but a lack of imagination.”
8.    Making Things in Academic Libraries
“The past few months have seen lots of discussion about makerspaces in libraries. What’s a makerspace? Buffy Hamilton’s great post over at the Unquiet Librarian has a couple of good definitions, but essentially it’s a place for folks to make things, perhaps writing and illustrating a zine, using the open source Arduino computing platform to program a robot, screenprinting, or creating model houses with a 3D printer. Makerspaces often include tools and equipment that are too expensive or specialized for most people to have in their homes, as well as provide a gathering place for like-minded hobbyists to create and collaborate.”
9.    Makerspaces Move into Academic Libraries
“During the past year, makerspaces have been gaining traction in libraries. A makerspace is a place where people come together to design and build projects. Makerspaces typically provide access to materials, tools, and technologies to allow for hands-on exploration and participatory learning. They are occasionally referred to as fablabs, hackerspaces or tech shops.”
10. Manufacturing Makerspaces
“Kids gather to make Lego robots; teens create digital music, movies, and games with computers and mixers; and students engineer new projects while adults create prototypes for small business products with laser cutters and 3D printers. Many libraries across the US have developed makerspaces—places to create, build, and craft—and they are experiencing increased visits and demand as a result. For public libraries, they are places to promote community engagement. For academic libraries, they are places where students and faculty feel welcome to do classwork and research.”
11. The Library as a Makerspace
“Libraries are no longer simply a holding area for books, they are community hubs. People gather at the library to share ideas and enrich their lives. Computers and internet are now standard in libraries and are often in demand. Unemployed individuals can come to the library and apply for jobs. Kids can do their homework (or play games) at the library. But did you know that libraries are now becoming much more than books, computers and internet? Libraries are becoming creation spaces, often called maker spaces (or makerspaces).”
12. Fab Labs at the Library
There’s something unusual sitting in the parking lot of the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Ind. Pay a visit to the 50-foot trailer and you might be surprised with what you find. Inside are various tools for cutting and shaping wooden objects, an electronics work bench, an injection molding machine and one of the most advanced gadgets for inventors, a 3-D printer.

13. Maker Faire Events
The Maker Faire is a festival of invention and celebration of the Maker movement. “Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new, Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors. All of these “makers” come to Maker Faire to show what they have made and to share what they have learned.”

14. The Maker Map
An online and mobile map of makerspaces in museums, retail outlets, etc. Why aren’t Libraries a category in this application? Perhaps not enough of them are listed as having makerspaces! Libraries offering this type of DIY space will want to list themselves here.
15. Hackerspaces
This is a directory of events and listing of all active hackerspaces throughout the world as well as a source of information and resources.
16. Makerspace
This is a directory of makerspaces as well as a community and source of information and teacher resources.



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