Maker Culture in Libraries


One of my pet projects is to repurpose a wooden bureau. I would find a piece, strip down its many layers of paint, swap out the handles and voila…I would have a new thing that I made. This came to mind when I researched what was happening with “maker culture” in public libraries. People already go to the library for resources on cooking, knitting, car repair and the library may provide space for some of that activity. Now there are more interest in everything from robotics to battery-operated lawnmowers.

I think of my working life as defined by service, instead of producing a tangible product. So we have lost the satisfaction and joy from slowly honing skills, and polishing them until we have created something new. There is that pride of a little kid to show off our new Lego creation buried in our collective psyche. Maker culture supports skill building and community engagement.

I echo Heather Braum’s sentiments that libraries that support maker movements are an extension of their existing mandate to share information and knowledge. I would welcome any news of Canadian public libraries that have makerspaces.

– Brenda Wong


3 Responses to “Maker Culture in Libraries”

  1. 1 Sarah

    I recently went to the Inspiration Summit hosted by the BC Ministry of Education in Vancouver (, and they discussed maker spaces quite extensively, but the only examples they gave were from Europe. The videos are available on the website: it was mostly in the Ken Roberts keynote.

  2. 3 Sarah

    There was also an article in the Wall Street Journal on the 7th: “Check These Out at the Library: Blacksmithing, Bowling, Butchering: To Draw Crowds, Some Facilities Offer Much More Than Books; Expanding the Tool Selection” (

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