Trends Reflection- Makerspace

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    • #2281
      Stephanie Venturato

      In this post I will be looking at an emerging trend in makerspaces. The trend I have identified is the capacity for makerspaces to facilitate small scale production and manufacturing, giving small businesses the chance to participate in the creative economy.

      There is no one true set of criteria for a Makerspaces, no two will be the same though many agree that the space combines technology, DIY and community a as distinguishing features. It was pointed out in the twitter chat, Makerspaces must be user specific, funding a space that patrons will actually use.

      Libraries have always been spaces that make new and exciting technologies accessible to the public, not just for leisure but for business and educational purposes. This has been no exception of late with more libraries buying 3D printers, these machines, amongst others typically seen in fabrication labs, have given library users the capability to participate in small scale production. There is a rise in these makerspaces not solely being used for individual projects or mere experimental activities but for small businesses and ongoing projects to use the spaces collectively. This not only provides a service to the community, giving entrepreneurs the opportunity to participate in the marketplace, but saves money and reduces unwanted, excess bits and pieces.

      Why Libraries?

      Aside from the obvious goals of libraries to support literacies and provide access to technologies, arts and community projects are often aims for funding. Recently libraries are turning to services that aid small businesses with a aim to encourage economic growth. Creative businesses in particular are in the most need for this assistance. For many creatives working freelance and being self employed are definite realities in this economic climate. For those just getting started, the thing that is most missed from the formal structure of a university or workplace( if they ever had that) is the collaborative working environment a workplace or studio can offer. Makerspaces can provide not only means for production but also serve as a place for education and community support, building creative skills but also offering practical business advice.

      With the prevalence of online creative marketplace’s like etsy and the growth in DIY culture the demand for creative, innovative and bespoke projects has increased dramatically, becoming more difficult for small businesses to meet increasing demands. By supporting small creative businesses libraries contribute to a growing economy of innovative, sustainable producers that would otherwise fall by the wayside or turn to unsustainable mass production.

      Some notable places leading this revolution include the

      • The Brooklyn Navy Yard – Not technically a library (though Brooklyn public library also has a makerspace). However this is notable because Brooklyn is emerging as a makercity which is exciting ! Also provides spaces for affordable long term leases to further grow business that need that permanent space
      • The Edge, SLQ- In addition to their Fab Lab, SLQ now has a Business studio to give small businesses and entrepreneurs the helping hand they need
    • #2334
      Chris Sonneveld

      Hi Steph

      Thanks for the great post. I recently visited a local Makerspace and was amazed by how much autonomy there was. I think this is extremely important for any Makerspace because by removing limitations on creativity people are able to practice the skills that lead to creativity. I remember when I was in high school and graphic design was extremely limited. There was only a small lab of computers where only the tech elite were allowed to go. I understand that times have changed and now technology is much more accessible but it’s important to note that for people to see the value in creativity and to be able to build confidence in being creative people must be allowed to go beyond the boundaries of what has been done before and be allowed to make mistakes so that they can learn from them.

    • #2408
      Saurav Khadka

      Hi Steph, nice post! It is so true that how technology was then and how it is now. Just like Chris mentioned in above comment, about graphic designing in high school during those time is a very good example. Also, as library is the place to learn new things, it is a information center, and a makerspace too. And hence, it has been providing with that opportunity to the local peoples or to public to learn new things, being innovative, and building skills which I think should be given continuity in future too with possibly more advancement.

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