Maker Library Network Showcase in Cape Town, February 2015. Photographer Keziah Suskin
The Maker Library Network (MLN) is a British Council project that connects designers and makers around the world. Combining reading, showing and making, this new type of creative space encourages local and international knowledge sharing. Through this unique network makers can share resources, swap skills, take part in mentoring sessions and exchange ideas. The Maker Library Network concept was created and developed by Daniel Charny and From Now On in collaboration with the British Council.
Maker Libraries are creative spaces for making, showing and reading. They contain three key elements of a library, a makespace and a gallery, connected via an online platform for sharing skills and resources. Each Maker Library is led by a librarian who is interested in fostering creative and social thinking and learning through making by running a dynamic programme of activities and workshops. As an active member of the MLN community, the librarian has an opportunity to contribute, connect and learn with like-minded people.
Librarians in each country are able to adapt the MLN principles for their local environment and location; whether in their studio, in the corner of a cafe, or in a purpose built travelling vehicle.
When a Maker Library is set up, the librarian receives a starter kit which includes a blueprint to build a library, a core set of books, a growing resource of open designs and access to a panel of mentors via the online platform.
The Maker Library Network was initially developed as part of the British Council’s Connect ZA season to connect designers and makers in the UK and South Africa. The Network is currently expanding globally.
For more information and to follow the story, visit the Maker Library Network website at www.makerlibrarynetwork.org