Atlas: Makerspaces in Public Libraries in The Netherlands


Olindo Caso
TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment
Joran Kuijper
TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment
Keywords: atlas, library


Public libraries want to contribute to an inclusive and innovative society and aim to enable their patrons to acquire the necessary 21st century skills. Dutch public libraries are therefore gradually adding more and more activities to their curriculum, teaching these different types of skills, such as ‘invention literacy’. They also often provide a ‘performative space’ (i.e. a makerspace) for their patrons. This means library spaces are no longer dominated by books, but rather reflect the current development in libraries’ core business, moving from collections to connections in order to serve their local communities. The KB, the National Library of The Netherlands, participated in the KIEM1 project Performative Spaces in Dutch Public Libraries. Stepping Stones of Inclusive Innovation, researching the development of performative spaces in libraries. This project, a collaboration with the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at the Delft University of Technology, fits the KBs strategic interests in providing an innovative and socially aware library system.

Important research questions included how public libraries create these so-called performative spaces for inventing and creating, what modifications are needed in terms of interior design and safety, and in terms of programmatic and spatial organization? As well as how do makerspaces connect to particular maker communities? The project results provided insight into spatial and design aspects of performative spaces, which helps public libraries, and ultimately its patrons, to benefit from this new development. This book, the Atlas, presents the results of the research projects with illustrations of the different types of makerspaces as well as providing state-of-the-art information about performative spaces, focusing on the spatial characteristics. It has been an honour and a pleasure to work with experts from Delft University of Technology and we hope and expect the KIEM project has sown the seeds for a sustainable collaboration on the subject of performative spaces in present and future library research. We see the Atlas as a joint starting point for a shared agenda on the performative library space of the future for librarians, designers, patrons and other stakeholders.

Author Biographies

Olindo Caso, TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment

Olindo Caso graduated at the Faculty of Architecture or the University of Naples 'Federico II' (1988, with honorable mention). In 1990 he collaborated with the TU Delft where in 1999 he achieved his Ph.D. defending a dissertation about the relevance of IT for the design of spatial settings. Olindo Caso also runs his own architectural practice since 1989 and has experience in design and consultancy on 'the space of mobility'. Specialist in multidisciplinary research and the relationships between different scales of design he is the author of a variety of (international) publications and research reports. Last title appeared: Architettura contemporanea: Olanda. Motta, 2009.

Joran Kuijper, TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment

Joran is involved in research and education activities at the Department of Architecture at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment. Within the academic environment he has been member of several editorial teams, as for example in 2012 the international conference proceedings ‘New Urban Configurations’ and recently of the book ’Stations as Nodes’.


March 15, 2019

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ISBN-13 (15)


Date of first publication (11)


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Physical Dimensions

17,6cm x 25cm