Makerspaces in public libraries
Public libraries are increasingly facilitating a variety of performative opportunities. Supporting ‘making’ is becoming a common feature. The new open-access publication Atlas: Makerspaces in public libraries in the Netherlands’ takes a closer look to this development.
Makerspaces of all kinds in public libraries are intended to help library visitors towards so-called 21st century skills. This phenomenon is very well visible in Dutch libraries too, which are massively developing opportunities for makers. The creation of makerspaces in libraries is about lifelong learning, the democratisation of new technology, user participation, and rendering the library even more relevant to the community. They support creativity and knowledge spreading, potentially being an engine of inclusive sustainable development among all population groups in the Netherlands, thus fully according the library mission.
This exhibition makes visible the current situation of the introduction of ‘making’ in public libraries. This is done through the mapping of the spatial choices made by a sample of fifteen Dutch public libraries in designing, equipping and furnishing their own ‘performative spaces’. Four levels of information are taken into consideration: the position of the library in the urban setting; the position of the makerspace in the context of the library building; the lay-out of the makerspace itself; the visual appearance of the makerspace (photo’s). The maps are supported accordingly by data’s and relevant information.
The research project ‘Performative Spaces in Dutch Public Libraries. Stepping Stones of Inclusive Innovation’ was made possible by a grant of the NWO KIEM programme Creative Industries CLICKNL. The National Library of The Netherlands actively collaborated with the TU Delft in this investigation.