Measuring the Impact and Value of Makerspaces in Public Libraries

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The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and Indian Trails Public Library District (ITPLD, Illinois) propose a National Leadership Planning Grant titled Measuring the Impact and Value of Makerspaces in Public Libraries. This $100,000 exploratory, pilot project will provide the tools needed for development of an initial framework and future toolkit for measuring the impact and value of public library makerspaces in the lives of users and the communities that libraries serve . As public libraries evolve to meet the lifelong learning needs of the community and offer creative spaces, traditional library measurements and statistics do not accurately reflect the full economic, educational, and social impact of the services in the community. Public libraries need to seek new ways of telling the story of their use and the transformative effect a library has on the li6fe of the community. The proposed one-year pilot planning project is intended to provide the baseline for a framework for evaluating a non-traditional service in public libraries which would add to the professional knowledge of public librarians nationally and help them achieve excellence in services to their communities.

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