A library makerspace is an area and/or service that offers library patrons an opportunity to create intellectual and physical materials using resources such as computers, 3-D printers, audio and video capture and editing tools, and traditional arts and crafts supplies. In the field of library science, makerspaces are classified as a type of library service offered by librarians to patrons.
Library makerspace Wikipedia
In a library makerspace or maker program, patrons of varying ages can work together, alone, or with library staff on creative projects. These spaces often give community members access to tools, technology, and social connections that may not be easily accessible otherwise. The goal of a makerspace is to allow patrons to learn through direct experimentation and from each other. Library makerspaces do not require specified areas; a pre-existing space can be temporarily modified (or "made") to better suit the needs of participants. It is more about the intentions of the makers than about the qualities of the space itself.
Beginning around 2006, the "maker movement" grew out of DIY culture. Libraries took notice and began offering programs and redesigning spaces to address related interests within their communities. The first public library with a maker space was the Fayetteville Free Library.
A library makerspace is intended to allow community members to experience technology or activities that they previously were not able to access. As many maker spaces include technology like 3D printers, sewing machines, soldering guns, coding, robotics, and wood carving machines, patrons are invited to experiment freely. The purpose of a maker space is often expressed to be inspiring an interest in science, technology, design, and life-long learning in the people who are served by the library. Over time, it is expected that the available activities within each individual maker space will grow to reflect the interests of each community in which the library is housed. Makerspaces are also intended to allow minorities or underrepresented populations, like women, or people with disabilities, to become involved with technology and fields they may not have previously considered.
There are many types of makerspaces offered as a library service. They are usually developed around a certain type of medium, technology, or even patron age group. Some examples include computer programming and coding, 3D modeling and printing, games, and traditional arts and crafts. Although experts in the area may be available, the community atmosphere of the space allows patrons to learn from each other and experiment rather than receive lessons.
Maker spaces have also grown to allow patrons to take classes to develop a certain skill, like cooking, sewing or yoga.
Public libraries:4th Floor at Chattanooga Public Library
Allen County Public Library Maker Labs
Beaufort County Library Creation Station
Black & Veatch MakerSpace at Johnson County Library
Broward County Library Creation Station
The Bubbler at Madison Public Library
Fayetteville Free Library Creation Lab, Fab Lab, and Little Makerspace
The Labs at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Cincinnati Library MakerSpace
Chicago Public Library Maker Lab
TechCentral MakerSpace at Cleveland Public Library
CreateSpace at Middletown Free Library
Creativity Lab at Peabody Institute Library
Duxbury Free Library Makerspace
ideaLAB at Denver Public Library
Jocelyn H. Lee Innovation Lab at Harris County Public Library
HATCH at Watertown Free Public Library
The Hive at John F. Germany Public Library
The Labs at DC Public Library
The Maker Spot at the North Richland Hills Library
MACH1 at Phoenix Public Library
Make It at the Library (Idaho)
medialab at Lomira QuadGraphics Community Library
MILL Studio at Loudoun County Public Library
Morse Institute Library Innovation Studio
Pikes Peak Library District's Make & Make II
Richland Library Teen Center
Seminole Community Library Innovation Lab
Skokie Public Library Digital Media Labs
The Studio at Anythink (Rangeview) Libraries
The Studio at Winnetka Library
Digital Media Lab Highland Park Public Library
Westport Public Library MakerSpace
Urbana Free Library Teen Open Lab
One criticism of maker spaces for libraries is that they may attract a specific demographic, e.g., the tech-savvy, while failing to welcome others from the community. Some librarians feel that the library should not be a place for manufacturing, and some contend that over-emphasis on high-tech equipment such as 3D printers is not in the true spirit of the maker movement. Implementing a library makerspace may be costly in the setup phase, and as some tools and equipment can have associated hazards, there is the issue of liability to consider.