Thursday, May 10, 2018

The state of library makerspaces

Rivera, Destiny

Wang, F., Wang, W., Wilson, S., & Ahmed, N. (2016). The state of library makerspaces. International Journal of Librarianship, 1(1), 2-16.

This article offers us the important reminder that makerspaces are not only the tools that it provides, but is also the communities they create, the relationships they build between novices and masters, the development of new skill sets, the engagement of the imagination, and the empowering of individuals to not simply be passive consumers but active creators in the economy. The maker movement, while not a recent phenomenon and may even be considered rather old news in terms of library developments, is still an area of expansion within the library world.  While this article stresses that a makerspace is not merely the technology but the human resource and community involved, the emergence of these new technologies is still an exciting feature! Some examples of the technology provided by makerspaces are 3D printing, wood-working and laser-etching tools, metalworking, arts and crafts, robotics and more. We also see in The Creation Lab at the Fayetteville Free Library, one of their makerspaces includes “a wide range of digital media hardware and software such as video cameras, podcasting equipment, a green screen wall, and computers geared for media creation”. These tools help user take theoretical ideas and turn them into working knowledge through doing. It is no surprise that the maker culture is often considered “an extension of Do It Yourself (DIY) culture with a strong technology focus”. There have even been talks, projects and funding by Google within various libraries, which proves its legitimacy, mainstream appeal as well as its potential for growth.

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