Arts Council England: Library-Hack-Makerspace Network
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There is a growing trend internationally toward the co-location and affiliation of libraries with hacker and maker spaces – for example, in the United States, where Chattanooga Public Library has spear-headed calls for libraries to adapt to reflect our increasingly ‘read/write’ world, and in relation to innovative UK-based projects like St Botolph’s Waiting Room, with its Give-Get Library in Colchester and partnership with Essex Libraries.
Common Futures has worked with the Carnegie UK Trust, The Creative Coop and Colchester School of Art to develop an innovative business model in relation to St Botolph’s Waiting Room. Together, partners have developed a ‘borrow/barter/buy/bespoke’ approach to business integration for library-hack-maker spaces (see: diagram – below), which is designed to help maintain the ethos of a library where its function to ‘facilitate access to all’ is concerned, in addition to introducing an income generation dimension to operations.
We were therefore pleased to prototype an income generating Library-Hack-Maker Space Network with a grant from Arts Council England. The project aimed to better understand the potential for library-hack-maker spaces, and affiliations between libraries and hack/maker spaces, to enhance the resilience and sustainability of libraries in future and involved Common Futures working with representatives from the 4th Floor and the Waiting Room to support three prototypes in the first instance.