The Maker Library Network meets in Edinburgh for a Think Ahead Tank

19 October 2017 Daniel Charny

The Maker Library Network was an incredible collaborative project commissioned by the British Council, it was set as part of a season of joint South Africa and UK exchange. Evolving through pilots and events, each time adding young creative people and reaching many new audiences. Thanks to it’s success, the British Council extended the project beyond the initial brief and rolled it out to include designer and makers from other countries who set up Maker Libraries and joined the international network. With the programmed project coming to en end earlier this year the members of the network met to explore what it would mean to take ownership of the entity.

This was a second international think tank we devised and facilitated. The first Maker Library Think Tank a year earlier in April 2016, proved to be a great accelerator for sharing ideas, formats and generating new collaborations.

[The following text is a version of the blog by Moira Lascelles @britishcouncil, 7 March 2017]

We were hosted by Custom Lane, a new gallery and studio space in Leith, Edinburgh which has been freshly renovated by GRAS architecture; one of the founding members of the Maker Library Network. Over the course of the day, the maker librarians took part in a Think-ahead-tank, devised and facilitated by creative director and founder of the Maker Library Network, Daniel Charny. The day enabled the librarians to reflect on how the Maker Library Network has worked to date and how it can adapt and evolve in order to sustain itself in the future. The librarians commented that the Network had been “a catalyst for experimentation and exploration”, “a valuable way of engaging with makers internationally” and “life-changing for our space”. Alongside discussion and brainstorming, the participants worked hands-on, constructing models to analyse and identify the weaknesses relating to the project to date and see how it could be adapted in order for it to operate in the future.

To capture and celebrate what the Maker Library Network has achieved over the last four years and imparting a few of the lessons learnt, we have created a publication, Perspectives on Making: The journey of the Maker Library Network.  Read the publication via Issuu hereand find out more about the booklet here.