Fab Lab(s) and Democracy

The Fayetteville Free Library has announced the addition of a Fab Lab to their library, broadening services within the established concept of a public library’s function.

“Over the past fifty years, the manner in which we process information has changed. New technological developments have changed the way we interact with information, allowing us to become “creators” rather than just “consumers.” There are few places that currently provide community access to new, innovative creation technology like 3D printers.  These spaces, known as Fabrication Labs (fab labs), Hackerspaces, and Tech Shops, share common goals: collaboration and ‘making.’ They exist to give their specific communities the ability to ‘make’ through sharing knowledge and skills. They provide the technology necessary to make almost anything.”

This video was made in support of Lauren Britton-Smedley’s proposal to create the FFL pilot project. It describes the technology involved and its potential applications as well as its likely world-altering impact.

“The idea is that our society itself is plastic and that in a truly free society, a true democracy, each of us will be able to creatively shape the world we live in.”

“Public libraries have always been democracy engines. They are places where people go to inform themselves and inform their own lives. They are places where people learn to hack the social codes they live in.”

Update: Interesting article at the New York Times on copyright and the 3-D printer.

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