Create, play, learn: Setting up a small maker space in a public library

ALIA Library

Siegmann, Karyn

ALIA Information Online 2017 Conference, 13-17 February 2017 Sydney: Data Information Knowledge
Call it what you will, Maker Space, Hacker Space, Creative Space the movement in public libraries to be more than just purveyors of books and literacy has grown considerably over the past few years with Creative Spaces in all shapes and forms opening across the country.
From high tech labs to knitting circles the desire to unlock creativity and to share this with other people is strong within our communities
Along with this world-wide movement the Victorian Public Libraries 2030 strategy posits two future scenarios for public libraries. The Creative Library and the Community Library within which the creation of these spaces fits well.
At Bayside Library the role of designing technology programs for the community rests with the Community Technology Support Coordinator, from overseeing the IT training program to being eSmart this role has been responsible for all our programming.
In 2013 we began with a 3D printer and a small craft paper cutter in a small space in Sandringham library. This project was evaluated and the interest in technology from the community lead us to devising a bigger set-up in Beaumaris, a branch library where there was enough room to create a reasonable area and space to store equipment. We had access to a very helpful Public Libraries Victoria Shared Leadership Program manual Creative Libraries. At the same time we were able to reconfigure a part-time vacant position in order to employee a person with multi-media skills.
It seems that creative spaces are here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future, and the set-up and ongoing staffing and management are all important considerations when reviewing the development of such as space in your Library. The conference paper will discuss the setting up of a creative space at Beaumaris Library and the outcomes of our Create, Play, Learn space.

Deakin, ACT: Australian Library and Information Association
Bayside City Council