Presentation: The rise of innovation spaces and implications for libraries

TASCHA Director Chris Coward presented on our Innovation Spaces work as part of the iSchool’s Research Conversations series on Monday, April 28, 2014.

We are familiar with the typical library computer space — rows of computers, each one occupied by a single person. The underlying notion driving this configuration is that people need access to information, and that this access is optimized when each person is provided with individualized use of a computer and internet (with assistance from a librarian when the need arises).

There is another model that is experiencing tremendous growth and attention: innovation spaces—physical places that foster community, collaboration, and creation. The notion behind these spaces is that creativity and innovation are stimulated when people and ideas come into contact with one another, not when they are isolated. There are many types of innovation spaces — hackerspaces, makerspaces, tech hubs, coworking spaces — and a common feature is the intense interaction among people with computers.

In this talk, Chris shared exploratory work on understanding the rise of innovation spaces, a proposed set of design principles for creating innovation spaces, and thoughts about implications of this movement for libraries.

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