The Maker Library Network (MLN) is a British Council project commissioned as part of Connect ZA, a programme running throughout 2014 & 15 which aims to create connections between young creatives and audiences in the UK and South Africa. The MLN is a new initiative that promotes collaboration and knowledge-sharing between designers and makers. The programme will culminate with an event to showcase the achievements of the first year, with the ambition to expand into a world-wide network.
Maker Libraries are creative spaces that combine reading, showing and making. This new type of library, whilst encouraging local development, is also part of a new international mentoring network. When a Maker Library (ML) is set up, the librarian receives a starter kit which includes a blueprint and materials budget to build a library, a core set of books, a growing resource of open designs and access to a panel of mentors via an online platform.
Maker Libraries are workspaces defined by three key elements: a library, a makespace and a gallery. Librarians in each country will be able to share and adapt the MLN principles for their local conditions and location; whether in their studio, in the corner of a cafe, or in a purpose built traveling vehicle.
Each Maker Library is led by a librarian who is interested in fostering creative, social thinking and learning through making. Each library will run a dynamic programme of activities which is informed by the librarian’s interests. As an active member of the MLN community, the librarian has an opportunity to connect, learn and contribute with like-minded people. Members of the MLN will also have access to a pool of mentors who will be sharing knowledge and resources via the online platform.
For more information and to follow the story, visit the Maker Libraries website at www.makerlibraries.org