“By bringing makerspaces into libraries, we can adapt to changing student needs and supporting knowledge creation in addition to knowledge consumption.” (Erin Fisher, “Makerspaces Move into Academic Libraries”, ACRL ...
A makerspace (sometimes also referred to as a hackerspace, hackspace or hacklab) is a location where people with common interests, often in computers, technology, science, electronics, engineering, and/or digital or electronic art, can connect, create and collaborate. Makerspaces can be viewed as open community labs incorporating elements of machine shops, workshops, and/or studios where hackers and makers come together to share resources and knowledge to build and make things.
Many libraries have embraced the maker movement and have incorporated makerspaces into the services they provide as they both encourage community building, skill sharing, participatory learning and the concepts of scientific and technological savvy as 21st century literacies.
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Earlier this year I wrote a post about Hackerspaces and Makerspaces, after attending the Computers in Libraries conference in Washington. I met up with Buffy Hamilton for lunch, and as ever was inspired with the responsive way she grabs an initiative and runs with it.
So I wasn’t surprised to find Buffy writing Makerspaces, Participatory Learning, and Libraries where she ‘nailed’ the opportunity.
Now here she is, putting forward the New Chapter for 2012-2013 proposal for A Makerspace Culture of Learning at the Unquiet Library. Love it!
In a sense, this is not a new concept at all, particularly for primary schools, as kids are hands-on and experimental in their classroom experiences. What I particularly find attractive about makerspace culture is that it responds to, and perhaps acts as a counterfoil to the gamification/gaming momentum that is somehow almost seen as the only response to innovation and change in schools.
Hackerspaces and makerspaces provide outstanding opportunities for synergy in our new learning environments.
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Every discussion of libraries in the age of austerity always includes at least one blowhard who opines, "What do we need libraries for? We've got the Internet now!"
The problem is that Mr. Blowhard has confused a library with a book depository. Now, those are useful, too, but a library isn't just (or even necessarily) a place where you go to get books for free. Public libraries have always been places where skilled information professionals assisted the general public with the eternal quest to understand the world. Historically, librarians have sat at the coalface between the entire universe of published material and patrons, choosing books with at least a colorable claim to credibility, carefully cataloging and shelving them, and then assisting patrons in understanding how to synthesize the material contained therein.
What do the arts, literature, cooking, 3D printing, LEGO, libraries, and education have to do with each other? They can all be supported and encouraged by makerspaces aligned with library collections, programs, and services.
Raincoast Books is a Canadian book company based in Vancouver, BC. Raincoast provides full-service Canadian representation to publishers from the US and Canada including Chronicle Books, Hay House, Lonely Planet, Moleskine and Sourcebooks.
The next time someone tells you that libraries have no function because of the growing popularity of e-readers, direct them towards the Westport Library--a Connecticut library that just opened a MakerSpace--a place where people can tinker and...
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