While attending the Craft Reveals conference, as part of the Chiang Mai Design Week 2016, one of the first sessions interested me with the mention of the Maker Library Network, a project of the British Council. Obviously I was intrigued by hearing the word Library.
The Maker Library was first established as a way to connect designers and makers in the UK and South Africa. It has now expanded around the world. The purpose of the Maker Library Network is to “facilitates knowledge and skills exchange amongst professionals and encourages public engagement with making.” The Maker Library is a combination of Make-space + Library + Gallery.
Maker Libraries have Maker Librarians. These are not librarians with a MLIS, but someone who is interested in fostering creative, social thinking and learning through making. They are facilitators who offer a program of activities and workshops in their space.
While there is no mention of trained librarians being involved in this network, I can imagine that such professionals would be a good addition. There could be interesting collaborations. Especially as most of these make-spaces seem to be mobile, I could imagine them pulling upto a library to do a joint program. Or appearing at a community event. The library could further help with reading lists, curate a selection of books and web resources to help with learning and sharing skills, and be a source of further assistance in connecting makers with others in the community. Libraries already are involved in maker libraries. I think instead of competition between libraries and other maker spaces, the two should work together. Collaboration can lead to amazing experiences for our community members.