The Convivial Capabilities Checklist: Translating Makerspace Research into Practice

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Public library makerspaces are said to facilitate user empowerment, but this empowerment has yet to be fully explored in terms of how or whether it is occurring, or for whom. Libraries need to assess any processes of empowerment to evaluate their support for their users’ needs and to assess the success of their makerspace services. This paper addresses these evaluation needs by describing a checklist developed from ethnographic research in makerspaces based on Ivan Illich’s theory of “convivial tools,” which forward power to their users to decide how, why, and when to use them. This checklist translates research into practice with a tool for practitioners and researchers. It can assist librarians as they explore the impacts of their services on their communities, and can advance research about makerspaces and power for the purposes of social justice. It also offers an example of how to translate research into evaluative practice
Original languageAmerican English
StateAccepted/In press - Oct 30 2023


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