Archive for December 12th, 2011

December 12, 2011

Libraries Make Room For High-Tech ‘Hackerspaces’

by Nick Brewer

Submitted by Laura Alejandra Gonzalez:

Libraries Make Room For High-Tech ‘Hackerspaces’ : NPR

I’d like to make my own addition to this, Phil Torrone wrote a great article for Make about this same topic a few months ago. I’d love to see these types of tools being offered for everybody to use.

I propose we think about what role the public library can or should have. I’m really interested in what everyone thinks, so please post in the comments. I have more questions than answers, but my “gut” says we’re not going to see public libraries as the centers of learning state-to-state that they once were.

If the only public space where 3D printers, laser cutters, and learning electronics happens is in fee/memberships-based spaces (TechShops, hackerspaces), that will leave out a segment of the population, who will never have access. FabLabs often are geared towards under-served communities, so perhaps it will be a combination of FabLabs and hackerspaces.

What if we were to convert just 1% or even 10% of the 9,000 public libraries in the USA to TechShops? I say TechShop because I think they could get it done with the right amount of funding, or at least coordinate the effort. Since 1% of the USA’s public libraries is about 90, that’s close to the TechShop goal in 5 years; 10% would be 900 locations — not a bad goal.