ARL SPEC SURVEY FROM MIT LIBRARIES AIMS TO MAP CURRENT ROLE OF LIBRARIES IN MAKERSPACES

January 9, 2015

The Association of Research Libraries has selected a survey proposal from the MIT Libraries as one of four to be conducted in 2015. The survey, selected based on currency, insightfulness, importance to research libraries and relevance to ARL’s strategic directions, consists of a suite of questions intended to map out current and planned engagement of ARL-member Libraries with digital fabrication (“3-D printing”) and Makerspace technologies.

The goal of this survey is to provide information to Library senior staff that will support decisions related to engagement with 3D printing, rapid fabrication and digitization technologies, and makerspaces in general. And in particular to inform decisions regarding the types of service offerings libraries can provide, level of service, level of resource commitment, potential clientele needs, and evaluation of the service. The specific objectives of the survey are to provide systematic, well-structured, baseline information on ARL libraries policies, services, investments in, and experiences with supporting fabrication services and makerspaces.

The survey will be conducted between May 4 and June 1. After that, a SPEC Kit is expected to be published by the end of this year, while a 45-minute webcast discussion of findings is also expected to stream.

The survey was developed by Dr. Micah Altman, Director of Research and Head/Scientist, Program on Information Science for the MIT Libraries, Matt Bernhardt, web developer for the Libraries with expertise in the field, Lisa Horowitz, Assessment & Linguistics Librarian, and Wenqing Lu, a graduate research assistant for the Program on Information Science.

More information is available at ARL’s website.