Hackathons and Libraries
The Evolving Landscape 2014-2020
Libraries foster a thriving campus culture and function as “third space,” not directly tied to a discipline.[i] Libraries support both formal and informal learning, have multipurpose spaces, and serve as a connection point for their communities. For these reasons, they are an ideal location for events, such as hackathons, that align with library priorities of outreach, data and information literacy, and engagement focused on social good. Hackathon planners could find likely partners in either academic or public libraries as their physical spaces accommodate public outreach events and many are already providing similar services, such as makerspaces. Libraries can act solely as a host for events or they can embed in the planning process by building community partnerships, developing themes for the event, or harnessing the expertise already present in the library staff. This article, focusing on years from 2014 to 2020, will highlight the history and evolution of hackathons in libraries as outreach events and as a focus for using library materials, data, workflows, and content.
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