In Libraries make Room for High Tech Hackerspaces, NPR reports this weekend on a promising trend in the redefinition of libraries, or perhaps more accurately, in the growing realization of the amazing and wonderful potential of public libraries not only as pivotal centers of learning and discovery, but also of creation!
Learning is for Everyone (LI4E) , the community learning organization organizing Tampa Bay Mini Maker Faire, has long believed libraries and museums can and should be key learning centers in our communities. We wholeheartedly agree with Thomas Gokey, who teaches a course in Innovation in Public Libraries and narrates the film below, that libraries are “democracy engines… places where people go to inform themselves and inform their own lives…” , where we “learn to hack the social codes we live in.”
With Maker Bots bringing 3D printing capabilities within reach of more people, efforts are already underway at libraries across the country to create public hackerspaces. The Fayetteville Free Library in upstate New York calls their planned Fabulous Laboratory, an “evolution of a computer lab”. The “FabLab” will have about 8,000 square feet and employ computer driven power tools Allen County Public Library, in Fort Wayne, IN has created a hackerspace portable in a trailer in its parking lot.
We love the notion, proposed in the film, of “the world as one big public library,” especially if its got 3D printers and power tools!