The future of libraries: experimental makerspaces

When you ask children how they envision the library of the future, their ideas range from holograms to white plain paper for all generations to write and share their stories. The exchange of knowledge in the future was the key theme at Brave New Learning in the OBA in Amsterdam
(11-12 Feb).
The event was the kick off for the 100th anniversary of this public library, the largest cultural institution in the city.

A surfboard made from cardboard.
On display at the expo Paper Magic
in the OBA until May 2019.

Involving children in these essential questions, is exactly what new learning is about: inclusion. One of the key challenges teachers and cities are facing, is providing access to information for all ages, cultures and incomes. Virtual reality, gamification and augmented intelligence can help to overcome these barriers. But attendees at Brave New Learning stressed that the future role of libraries is certainly not technology & digital alone. Equally important is the physical meeting place, an open space for communities to engage. And to create.

Local communities become the creators of information

The makerspaces run by the OBA illustrate how experimental learning works outside the classroom. Across the city children combine creativity with digital skills. They learn, among other things, 3D printing or coding, with an emphasis on allowing curiosity and playfulness.

With 3.5 million visitors each year, the OBA plays an important role in inclusive learning.


The library of the future, envisioned by children
at Designathon.

This design aims at joint storytelling on paper,
where a 70-year old continues with a story
written by a 17-year old, and vice versa.