Alison Pope

July 2, 2015 2:58 pm

# CILIP Conference 2015 Day 1 Afternoon Breakout Session 2

Todd Richter and Dr. Laura Muir Creative workspaces in UK libraries Digital Futures and Technology

Todd is talking about the research he did for his Masters degree at RGU. He's graduating in two weeks.

A maker space is a place where people come together and make things using tools

The link between information and inspiration. Example of emailing wrench design to International Space Station so they could 3D print and use the wrench in space. Genuine 3D printing emerging (as opposed to 2D printing over and over again).

There is a global movement with libraries providing access to this technology. Maker spaces are about hands on interactive learning. A maker space is a reflection of its community like any library space.

Todd's research looked at maker spaces as agents of change and the impact on their communities. Covered one public library (Dundee Central Library) and two maker spaces (Glasgow MakLab and Make Aberdeen) and involved interviewing staff and patrons.


  • turning digital information into physical things
  • knowledge exchange and creation as a social act of conversation
  • issues with staffing and funding
  • visible space promotes itself but many maker spaces tucked away in a closet
  • grey areas around intellectual property, liability and other legal issues (what happens if someone prints a weapon)
  • space can fulfil a genuine community need but you need to understand your community and be fearless

Virginia Power Investing in the Knowledge Bank: digital currency for all our digital futures Digital Futures and Technology Track

Context: for the librarian profession to the Internet in real time.

2014 research looking at job roles via job adverts. Developed a skills matrix and a training matrix from looking at 40 UK jobs (also a US study looking at 450 jobs).

US Study Findings

  • 51% require technical skills
  • 70% emphasise statistics and analysis
  • 57% require reference or research skills
  • 43% required management skills
  • 24% teaching or library instruction skills

UK Study Findings

Digital preservation and information governance emerging alongside traditional core skills such as tea working and communication.

Emerging trends:

  • digitisation
  • preservation
  • user experience

Librarians need to be fluid, hybridised, technology proficient

Future is bright:

  • role in data informed decision making
  • new approaches to collecting, analysing and using data

Need to be putting new technologies in our knowledge bank. Reference the CILIP PKSB gap analysis.

Plenty of support if "this data world is scaring you witless" e.g Databrarians blog.

We can be comfortable, and do what we've always done, or be courageous and get our digital skills up to scratch.