‘This Is Not Your Mother’s Library’: The International Trend of Emerging Technologies and Makerspaces in Libraries

As technologies advance, libraries strive to provide access to and training for emerging tools and processes. Makerspaces are a growing trend in libraries worldwide that provide a flexible space for patrons to participate, collaborate, innovate, and, most importantly, create.

Makerspaces are in the works for UB’s Library 2.0, but access to digital technologies through flexible space is already an international trend. Libraries all over the world are facilitating innovation. Let’s take a look.

Rendering of Library 2.0’s flexible ground floor plan. Image courtesy of Behnisch Architekten.

The Toronto Public Library houses its Digital Innovation hub, which features the latest technologies including 3D printing and training. Library 2.0 has similar plans as the Hawthorne-Longfellow Library at Bowdoin College. Their Media Commons features studios for audio and video recording, editing, and producing.

If you’re looking for a space to work on video, audio, graphics, animation, and interactive 3D projects, then the Digital Media Lab at Griffith University is home. It is an 8,000 square foot multimedia center that fosters interdisciplinary work.

UB’s Library 2.0 will not only offer the newest technology; we’ll have the flexible space to accommodate both independent and collaborative creation. With two floors of open space, students and staff will be able to configure and re-conceive spaces to facilitate learning.

The Bram & Bluma Appel Salon at the Toronto Public Library offers a space for writers, thinkers, artists, and innovators to converse, debate, and create. Brown University’s Sidney E. Frank Digital Studio is a flexible space, with movable walls that patrons can write on. This flexibility promotes creativity and collaboration. Fenwick Library at George Mason University follows this trend with transformable instructional spaces with movable partitions.

When you think of Library 2.0, think of flexible spaces that provide access to emerging technologies. Think of a facility that fosters creativity, innovation, and creative problem solving. This will not be your mother’s library.

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