Libraries: From Consume to Create

Last week I wrote a post about bookless libraries1. I ran across another library trend that will be just as fascinating to watch: the transition of emphasis from consumption to production.

Wired explains in a description of Chattanooga’s downtown public library2:

Visit the downtown branch of the Chattanooga Public Library and you’ll find the usual stuff: rows of books, magazines, and computers. But walk up to the fourth floor and there’s something unexpected. It’s a “makerspace”—complete with a laser cutter, a zine lab for making paper publications, and a 3-D printer. There’s even a loom.

On the surface a makerspace in a library seems like a logical progression. What fascinates me about the change is that tools built for creation change the paradigm of what a trip to the library means. Before we went to find and consume information. In the near future we’ll have free access to make our ideas into reality. That’s a powerful shift.

1. You can read my post on bookless libraries here.2. You can read the article about makerspaces in libraries on Wired’s website.

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