ALA Midwinter 2015 Masters Series Session

ALA Midwinter 2015 Masters Series Session

A few weeks ago,  I attended the American Library Association’s 2015 Midwinter Meeting. Although there were several maker related sessions, I was only able to attend  the ALA Masters Series session, “Mechanic Institutes, Hackerspaces, Makerspaces, TechShops, Incubators, Accelerators, and Centers of Social Enterprise. Where do Libraries fit in?”

Mita Williams | Image Credit: ALA news

The presentation was by Mita Williams, the UX Librarian at the University of Windsor.

I won’t spoil the talk, but in short, she gave a brief history of the ‘hackerspace’ as a concept, from it’s origins to the current iterations, especially the ‘makerspace’.

She touched briefly on the lack of diversity in the “main stream” face of the maker movement, i.e. Make Magazine, but did not dive as far into the issues as I would have liked (mainly due to lack of time). However, the Q&A session after her talk broached this issue when someone asked if anyone knew of any makerspaces that were not geared towards the white upper-middle class demographic (MB does!)

Protip: it’s easier to get funding when building a makerspace than it is for an hackerspace!

Watch the entire talk in the video below! The presentation is also available in a text format on Mita Williams’s blog.

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