Makers in libraries

So, we met at Brenda’s house yesterday morning for our staff inservice and the topic of conversation was: NEKLS Tech Goals for our revised Tech Plan.  To help spark conversation, I asked everyone to read this NPR article by Jon Kalish, “Libraries Make Room for High-Tech “Hackerspaces.

Well, it worked – we had a very interesting discussion that covered everything from our general dislike of the term ‘hacker,’ to what exactly is 3D printing, how the role of library as ‘University for all’ has changed recently, and how libraries can/should help makers/hackers/inventors, like we help job seekers.   (For more about makers and just because it’s cool, visit Make Magazine.)

Libraries are familiar with the maker/hacker crowd – they come in to use the non-fiction collection, the computers and the meeting room for their monthly Guild meetings.   (Unfortunately, they also often leave in disgust because the NF collection is out-of-date or doesn’t meet their needs.)  Regardless, I see a need to share these ideas with our libraries, especially the ones interested in new and innovative roles.  In my mind, 2012 is going to be the Year of Innovation – what with R. David Lankes coming to KLA Conference and someone from the AnyThink library speaking at our Assembly.  I’m excited.

Heather, the researcher of the office, today found and shared these articles.  We take the flood of articles on the topic to be a sign from above:

Interesting reading.  I’ve been following the YouMedia lab and other “Library as creative space” initiatives for awhile, and I’m glad to see these articles and additional discussion on the topic.


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