Library buildings, Idea building

Image from the American Library Association

I couldn’t let National Library Week (April 8-14) go by without an appropriate reflection.  On January 5 I wrote a post about libraries as sites of engagement with information.  Now I’ll go further and discuss libraries as places of knowledge creation.

King and Porter (2012) describe digital media labs and co-working spaces in various libraries.  They mention such specific examples as the Fayetteville Free Library’s fabrication laboratory–a.k.a. the Fab Lab–and the Hennepin County Library’s community experts (p. 57).

Across the Atlantic Brindley (2008) writes of the British Library’s role in both preserving culture and supporting the U.K.’s creative economy.   She highlights the library’s Business & Intellectual Property Centre’s support for entrepreneurs (p. 24).

An intriguing Walking Paper blog post (Schmidt, 2009) proposes the use of a “library made” icon directing users back to the library resources–and people–behind the creation of the given content.  On the flip side such projects can demonstrate concretely the library’s value.

With online resources the library reaches beyond the physical building.  Still, the library remains a space for idea building.


Brindley, L. (2008). Culture, creativity, and research. New Review of Academic Librarianship, 14(1/2), 17-35. doi:10.1080/13614530802518867

King, D.L., & Porter, M. (2012). Create a library “tech shop.” American Libraries, 43(3/4), 57.

Schmidt, A. (2009, November 30). Libraries should become better with use [Weblog post]. Retrieved from