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Library and Information Science Commons

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Theses/Dissertations

University of Wisconsin Milwaukee

Ethnography

2022

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Convivial Making: Power In Public Library Creative Places, Shannon Crawford Barniskis Aug 2022

Convivial Making: Power In Public Library Creative Places, Shannon Crawford Barniskis

Theses and Dissertations

In 2011, public libraries began to provide access to collaborative creative places, frequently called “makerspaces.” The professional literature portrays these as beneficial for communities and individuals through their support of creativity, innovation, learning, and access to high-tech tools such as 3D printers. As in longstanding “library faith” narratives, which pin the library’s existence to widely held values, makerspace rhetoric describes access to tools and skills as instrumental for a stronger economy or democracy, social justice, and/or individual happiness. The rhetoric generally frames these places as empowering. Yet the concept of power has been neither well-theorized within the library makerspace literature …