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December 14, 2011 AT 9:34 pm

Ben Franklin Would Have Loved This: Hackerspaces at the Public Library

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Ben Franklin Would Have Loved This: Hackerspaces at the Public Library.

Public Libraries + Hackerspaces. Brilliant. And yet another reason why public libraries—and public librarians—are an essential part of a free society, fostering the kind of innovative, productive, creative, healthy, expansive culture worth a good chest thump. Not only is it about leveling the playing field, making resources available for all, but also about nurturing the potential of the Next. 

Libraries are reinventing themselves for a digital age, with a small but growing number looking to include hackerspaces (a.k.a. makerspaces), complete with 3-D printers. There is a certain poetry to it: As physical books transform into bits and bytes, information—computer files—become tangible objects, printed on a MakerBot. 

Author, publisher, inventor, statesman and pretty much everybody’s favorite Founding Father, Ben Franklin, who helped found the very first public library in North America in 1731, would have been thrilled…


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