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The Changing Face/Space of the Library: eBooks, Makerspaces, and More : Makerspaces

Companion site to the April 29, 2014 OLIS Multi-Type Reference Advisory Group & Resource Sharing Group Joint Program.


Evan Barta, facilitator

(Coordinator of Technology, Warwick Public Library)


Handouts were provided for this Roundtable discussion []

  • An overview sheet with the main topics
  • 2 promotional brochures for WPL Idea Studio [ see box at left ]


Topics discussed during the four sessions

  • Background on the creation of the Idea Studio – empty café space
  • More of a collaboration space – a place for the public and library staff to learn, teach, and share
  • Definition/explanation from the Idea Studio promotional materials – “a shared workspace and tech lab where individuals and groups can experiment, practice, discover, and create together”
  • An overview of the equipment available

                  •3D printer

                  •Digital conversion for media : VHS, audio cassette, vinyl records, pictures

                  •Apple PCs & laptops with media creation software

                  •Button maker

                  •Soldering irons

                  •Cloth cutter

                  •Meeting space

  • Overview of activities

                  •Computer classes

                  •Groups that create things – writing, video, scrapbook, knitting

                  •Community workbench – fix things for the public

                  •Open time for people to explore the technology

  • Many of the groups already used the library to meet; when appropriate they were moved to the Idea Studio
  • Look to the education goals of the community, adults and children, and respond accordingly
  • Have to be flexible – let the patrons suggest and encourage them to use and share the space for their own interests        
  • Many patrons were enthusiastic to share their interests with others and form groups
  • Start out with projects and technology a staff member is already interested in – training is easier and more positive
  • Expensive – much of the cost was covered by grant money
  • A class/tour of the Idea Studio through OLIS was proposed
  • The role of the library as a “creator” was discussed.

         •Does the role the library plays in the community include using technology in this manner?

         •Are librarians trained or the right people to be performing these activities?

         •Is a Makerspace in line with the library's mission and goals?

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