Community Makerspaces: How Libraries Can Help

Many libraries want to be part of the makerspace movement, but don’t have the space, budget, or knowledge to start one. An alternative might be supporting an existing community makerspace Clint Crosbie from the Port City Makerspace in Portsmouth, NH, discusses what makerspaces are, how people use them, and ways libraries can be involved.

Session info, slides, and links

Information wants to be free, but it also wants to be expensive. – Stewart Brand

Information doesn’t want to be anthropomorphized. – Cory Doctorow

A good makerspace has to be, at its core, a geek hangout – a place where geeks who like to build and tinker can build and tinker or talk about building and tinkering.

Libraries often can’t afford, or doesn’t have the expertise, to host their own makerspace. In that case, partnering with an existing community makerspace is a great option. There are a variety of community makerspaces – look for one close to you at hackerspaces.org

Besides local makerspaces, look for existing maker-type groups to partner with

  • computer clubs
  • high school tech classes/technical high schools (shop, auto repair, welding, computer, anything)
  • look on meetup.com for other local groups

Makerspaces in libraries

  • Crafternoon programs for kids
  • Have makerspace volunteers lead classes or workshops in the library – Lego mindstorms, building a solar-powered cell phone charger, etc
  • Host mini makerfaire – these have been very popular lately, and if you hold it they will come

Final note: check out the Library as Incubator project

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