Lotta Muurinen gave us a tour of Urban Workshop, part of Helsinki Metropolitan Area Libraries. Maker Spaces are becoming an important part of Finnish public libraries. Funding for Urban Workshop comes from city innovation fund, on a 2-year cycle. Their equipment includes 3D printers, 3D scanner, vinyl cutter, graphics station, sewing machines, video editing, digitising stations, multimedia computers. The venue is also available to use as a meeting place – free (naturally, this is Finland after all).
Staff at Urban Workshop help customers to do things themselves, learning as they go. They don’t expect to keep on top of all new technology. For the autumn, biohacking workshops are planned.
Here’s the 3D printer in action:
Presentation by Kari Lämsä of Helsinki City Library: From book storage to public space: why change the way we work? Check out the full presentation – great images, and such energy. Look out for:
Kari says this one is easy to write down, but hard to achieve. Staff were given training in how to look available:
Public libraries in Finland offer free courses for people learning to use their new smartphone or tablet. What a great way to win new customers and get people talking about how useful and relevant public libraries are today.