Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Makerspaces: Top Trailblazing Projects, A LITA Guide

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Makerspaces: Top Trailblazing Projects, A LITA Guide

Article excerpt

Makerspaces: Top Trailblazing Projects, A LITA Guide. By Caitlin A. Bagley. Chicago: ALA, 2014. 128 p. Paper $50 (ISBN 978-1-55570-990-7).

Featuring a total of nine US makerspaces, this book explores the astounding diversity of library-sponsored makerspaces while providing the reader with a host of practical set-up tips along the way. Structurally, the text is bookended by a scene-setting introductory section and a succinct conclusion. Together, these contextual portions serve to defend the inclusion of makerspaces in twenty-first century libraries. "Libraries are community centers," Bagley states; and, indeed, the trailblazing facilities highlighted in the book go to commendable lengths to solicit community input.

The Urbana Free Library in Illinois, for example, hired a community ambassador to help pinpoint the specific needs of their population. Further, this teen-oriented facility's commitment to the minimization of (mostly material-based) fees is echoed throughout Bagley's book, further justifying widespread library adoption of these innovation spaces. At the Cleveland Public Library, the only fee is for 3-D printing filament and, for a mere five cents per gram, programs (like "Custom Cookie Cutters") are made accessible to all members of the library's community. …

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