That's a great question. Here's one take -- fast, loose, not re-read, nor the opinion of my employer, Harvard University, but is based on my observations here....
First off, we don't have maker spaces in the library, but I could see them being very useful here. I think one advantage shops like these would have sitting under the umbrella of the library is access. The Departmental/Professional School shops here seem quite siloed. If you're not a part of that school/community, access is much more complicated. Particularly access to the more expensive machines. If a space was under the shelter of the library, it could feel MUCH more welcoming and readily available I think.
One thing that they have at MIT, a place obviously with a great maker ethic, is the "hobby shop". http://studentlife.mit.edu/hobbyshop
If you clcik to the membership tab, you'll see it's open to everybody with an affiliation with the Institute. Spouses, staff -- ALUMNI! I spent a lot of time there, learning some basic craft knowledge cause there would always be people working there, unlike my school shop where attendance was much more spikey and I generally would figure things out for myself.
Anyhow, I learned the most from alumni who purchased memberships it seemed like. It was casual, open envrionment, and I think the term pre-fix "Hobby" to Hobby Shop really made a difference. A subtext of fun. Anyhow, that was a great learning environment, outside of any departmental or school umbrella. It's listsed as a under "division of student life".
From my own POV, I'd like to see the library at Harvard, but any higher ed envrionment for that matter, get more into the business of "student life". But also make general access to specialized things easy, friendly, etc. Zero grade on-ramp to laser cutting can only be a good thing...
Harvard Library Innovation Lab
From: Code for Libraries [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of Nate Hill [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Monday, August 27, 2012 9:05 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] Maker Spaces and Academic Libraries
Can anyone on the list help clarify for me why, in an academic setting,
this kind of equipment and facility isn't part of a laboratory in an
Don't get me wrong I am *way* into access to tools, but I remember when I
went to art school that the building had a shop in it. The shop had a
woodshop, welders, metal lathes, etc. And it belonged there, not in the
library- because it supported what that department was all about.
Are makerspaces in academic libraries examples of libraries picking up
slack that academic departments should be dealing with?
I ask this with zero snark, I genuinely want to hear some thoughts on
On Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 8:54 AM, Paul Butler (pbutler3) <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
> Hi All,
> Yes, this Fall we are opening the Think Lab here at UMW Libraries. While
> we have been part of the planning process for the space, I would say thus
> far the library has played the role of landlord more than anything else. I
> see this partnership developing as time progresses. (I have a few projects
> planned myself.)
> A colleague, Tim Owens, is blogging about the Think Lab here:
> Cheers, Paul
> Paul R Butler
> Assistant Systems Librarian
> Simpson Library
> University of Mary Washington
> 1801 College Avenue
> Fredericksburg, VA 22401
> Sent from the mighty Dell Vostro 230.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
> Edward Iglesias
> Sent: Thursday, August 23, 2012 12:11 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [CODE4LIB] Maker Spaces and Academic Libraries
> Hello All,
> A colleague and I are going to be presenting at code4lib NE on the subject
> of makerspaces in academic libraries. Are any of you doing this? If so I
> would love to pick your brains a little.
> Edward Iglesias
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