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Collaboration is central to the work of librarianship, including technological initiatives such as the establishment of a makerspace. Librarians typically understand collaboration as a rational process in which partners reach agreements to yield efficiencies. However, this predominant understanding of collaboration ignores the nature of institutions founded on structural inequities and aligns with neoliberal ideology and objectivist understandings of technology.
In this chapter from an edited anthology that critically examines makerspaces and the Maker Movement, I reframe technology as relational and grounded in the needs of human communities, and I propose an alternative understanding of collaboration as a process of dialogue, drawing on the ideas of Paulo Freire. This alternative understanding of collaboration impacts what motivates us to establish a new partnership, the way we draw up formal documents and generate ideas with our partners, and the methods we choose to learn about our users' needs.
Re-making the Library Makerspace: Critical Theories, Reflections, and Practices
Maggie Melo and Jennifer T. Nichols
Library Juice Press
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collaboration, makerspaces, dialogue, neoliberalism, systems librarianship
Library and Information Science | Science and Technology Studies
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.