Creating Space: The Impacts of Spatial Arrangements in Public Library Makerspaces

CRAWFORD BARNISKIS, Shannon (2016) Creating Space: The Impacts of Spatial Arrangements in Public Library Makerspaces. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2016 – Columbus, OH – Connections. Collaboration. Community in Session 79 - Library Theory and Research.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/1384
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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.

Abstract

Creating Space: The Impacts of Spatial Arrangements in Public Library Makerspaces

This multi-site ethnographic case study examines the spatial arrangements of two public library makerspaces. These spaces are participatory social and spatial arrangements aimed at least in part at creating physical or digital objects, which are open for the free use of all library patrons, irrespective of the types of workshops, tools, staffing, materials created, or location. Library creative places shape the possible actions and experiences of those using them through policy and practice, including the planning and implementation of spatial arrangements. Power relations are often invisibly embedded in the affordances intentionally or unintentionally designed into the spaces. This study examines these spatial arrangements and inquires how users and library personnel describe the impacts of the space. It details how two makerspaces in public libraries serve their communities in novel ways, and offers transferable, praxis-based recommendations for spatial arrangements which reflect equitably-shared power relations among the library-as-institution, the library personnel, and the users. Furthermore, it describes how users co-construct their libraries through their hands-on making activities, helping to redefine what libraries are and librarians do.

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