Makerspaces in Libraries

Authored by: Patrick Tod Colegrove

Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, Fourth Edition

Print publication date:  November  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781466552593
eBook ISBN: 9781315116143
Adobe ISBN:


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From the advent of hackerspaces and Fab Labs to the rise of the maker movement, makerspaces, and their integration with library practice, an underlying societal shift toward embracing the active do-it-yourself culture of “making” seems fundamental to the increase of makerspaces in libraries. This entry explores the concepts of makerspaces generally, building from a historical background to examine theoretical and practical underpinnings of the movement. A timeline is presented tracing early implementations of makerspaces in both public and academic libraries, and rationales for their integration into library practice examined. A seemingly natural combination, makerspace in libraries offers a framework by which shared core library and community values such as equitable access to information, resources, and opportunity for lifelong learning can be reconciled and amplified. Alignment with a number of broader national educational initiatives is enhanced, including efforts focused on closing learning gaps in science, technology, engineering, math, and the arts; support for the active production of knowledge and information products is increased, yielding deep learning and engagement on the part of library users. Adoption and implementation of makerspaces in libraries is widespread and growing, enabling libraries worldwide to realize evermore central roles in their communities.

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