In the Magazine on Medium, Alex Duner profiles The Maker Lab at the Chicago Public Library. He underlines a trend in which the library as a community space moves towards the creative and collaborative by providing 3D printers available to the public:
The Maker Lab is funded by a federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The grant ended in December but the library received an extension to keep the Lab operating through March. Then the space, called at other times the Innovation Lab, will transform into something else. “Maybe a graphic design space or an e-reader petting zoo,” Anderson muses. It is a process of innovation and iteration that lets the Chicago Public Library experiment with new ways for it to meet patrons’ changing demands.
A study on library habits by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 59 percent of Americans definitely want libraries to have “more comfortable spaces” for working and collaborating. Forty-seven percent said libraries should definitely offer “more interactive learning experiences.”