The Problem With Gutenberg: post-literacy & makerspace strategy

Makerspaces are physical spaces used to experiment with creation and manipulation of digital and physical objects, usually in a communal setting. These spaces are often related to the reduction of boundaries between the physical and the digital, such as with 3D printers. Post-literacy is a period when popular and institutional cultures no longer privilege reading and writing, and oral culture strategies are used for communication and learning. Makerspaces are demonstrated to be examples of post-literacy in action.

Makerspace strategy could thus apply learning and communication strategies from oral cultures. This talk will present post-literacy as a viable framework for makerspace strategy and direction, particularly for Aotearoa New Zealand.

Slides from NDF: The Problem With Gutenberg (The Gutenberg Parenthesis and Auckland Libraries’ Makerspaces) and a video of me trying to explain the slides.

The original paper at Victoria Uni, Welly: Making Postliteracy (w/ supervisor Dan Dorner‘s comments)

An earlier paper on NZLIMJ: Pre-literate Māori knowledge frameworks as post-literacy strategies


Measuring Makerspaces V2

So. Refined the measures/goals from the last post, Measuring Makerspaces. This is what it is looking like now. Next to get ratified…and start measuring!

1. Grow-like-weed-itude:

  • This measures the resilience and sustainability of the idea from a staff and library system perspective
  • Based on the historical experience of guerrilla warfare, that suggests there is very little hope of destroying a revolutionary movement after it has the support of 15 to 25 per cent of the population (Griffith, 1961)

Measure: Number of libraries in Auckland Libraries system with permanent or semi-permanent maker activities

  • Baseline (2014/15): 7
  • Target (2015/16): 13
  • P&Bline: Help set up makerspaces in 16 public library systems (of 66) in Aotearoa New Zealand

2. Social-interesting-ness:

  • This measures the ability of makerspace ideas and activities to engage the community’s imagination
  • Based on a tweet (Bečela, 2014) that had the following formula to measure and compare the engagement scores of Facebook posts: (likes + sharesX2 + commentsX4)/number of fans

Measure: Average social-interesting-ness score from Word Tool

  • Baseline (2014/15): (Average of pre-July test runs?)
  • Target (2015/16): 10
  • P&Bline: One mainstream media story about the impact of Auckland Libraries’ makerspaces

3. Filling-in-form-ability:

  • This measures the rigour behind the thinking and the quality of the business model
  • Based on V1.04 of the Social Lean Canvas, adapted from The Lean Canvas, which in turn is adapted from The Business Model Canvas

Measure: Percentage of Social Lean Canvas that can be filled

  • Baseline (2014/15): 18% (I think)
  • Target (2015/16): 100%
  • P&Bline: Using the Social Lean Canvas to create and communicate a replicable library makerspace model

4. What-would-Andre-say:

  • This measures the social and environmental impacts of the makerspace, in story-telling terms
  • Inspired by an outreach event from Birkenhead Library, where we met 8 year old children who were almost illiterate

Measure: Number of projects or workshopped activities that are demonstrably linked to making a positive social/ecological impact

  • Baseline (2014/15): 0
  • Target (2015/16): 6
  • P&Bline: One communication from a person who believes that the makerspace has demonstrably helped them escape a vulnerable situation

for noonan

of course my life
is a poem,
he said,

spoken word,
set to heavy metal riffs
and a nyabinghi rhythm.

full of thunder
and bullshit
and long sunsets by the sea.

and, like the best poems,
a sharp, sudden ending.

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