Serious and casual leisure in public library makerspaces: The two-audience conundrum and research agenda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many public libraries provide makerspace services, where people can share tools and knowledge to create tangible items, yet the audience for these spaces is sometimes challenging to identify or maintain. Sometimes the spaces are less inclusive than intended or desired. This comparative case study examines user and library staff experiences in three makerspaces to determine the types of leisure the makerspaces support, and the types of makerspaces community members want. The study found that these spaces serve two audiences: those committed to a serious leisure use of the space, and those interested in casual leisure. These audiences each need different support, programs, and policies. Neither type of leisure was well supported in all three cases. This study situates the benefits of library makerspaces in the lives of the users and asks a series of questions orienting LIS toward a research agenda concerning serious and casual leisure.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101241
JournalLibrary and Information Science Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was conducted as part of a dissertation study at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Thank you to Joyce Latham, Nadine Kozak, Tomas Lipinski, and Xiaofeng Li for their insight and support for this project.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Inc.


  • Casual leisure
  • Makerspaces
  • Public libraries
  • Serious leisure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Library and Information Sciences


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