Being a key-holding member of Makerspace Urbana—one of the few who have twenty-four hour access to the maker lab—comes with more responsibility than just locking up when you leave. It also means actively welcoming visitors and making the lab an inclusive and inviting space.
Emily Knox, iSchool assistant professor and Makerspace Urbana keyholder, spoke recently with Illinois Public Media’s The 21st Show about the group’s efforts to create a diverse and inclusive space.
“We work on it everyday at Makerspace Urbana….We work hard to make our space welcoming to everybody,” she said, referring to the importance of inclusion and the challenges of achieving it.
The interview came on the heels of Knox’s participation in a Nation of Makers event at the White House and her talk, “Making and Inclusion,” at PechaKucha Night Champaign-Urbana (Vol. 22).
Knox joined the iSchool faculty in 2012. She received her PhD from the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University and her master's in library and information science from Illinois. She also holds a BA in religious studies from Smith College and an AM in the same field from The University of Chicago Divinity School. Her research interests include intellectual freedom and censorship, the intersection of print culture and reading practices, and information ethics and policy. Recognized for excellence in teaching and research, Knox was honored in 2015 with the Illinois Library Association Intellectual Freedom Award and the WISE Instructor of the Year award.