Measuring the Impact and Value of Makerspaces in Public Libraries

Time Frame


Total Funding to Date



  • Emily Knox
  • Kyungwon Koh

The University of Illinois and Indian Trails Public Library District (ITPLD, Illinois) will collaborate on an exploratory project to provide the tools needed for the 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. Public libraries need to seek new ways of telling the story of their use and the transformative effect a library has on the life of the community. The project seeks to measure the effect of makerspaces on the lives of stakeholders in promoting lifelong learning and exploration, increasing creative thinking and complex problem solving, and developing a community around making. It will contribute to a deeper understanding of how makerspaces have helped libraries achieve excellence as organizations and contributed to effective community development. 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. Read more.

library makerspace

Funding Agencies

  • Institute of Museum and Library Services, 2020 – $100,000.00
Research Areas: