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Posted by Marcus Zillman


metaLAB, or mL(at)H, is “an idea foundry, knowledge-design lab, and production studio” that is dedicated to pioneering new ways for libraries to serve communities. Based out of Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center, the metaLAB explores “the digital arts and humanities through research, experimentation, tool building, teaching, through publications in print and online, and via exhibition, performance, and social practice.” Within this broad mission, the future of libraries is a special focus. metaLAB is headed by Matthew Battles, who authored the 2003 book Library: An Unquiet History. One of metaLAB’s ongoing projects, Library Test Kitchen, is a series of workshops that encourage participants to rethink how libraries could function. Recent ideas that have come out of these workshops include a “Neo-Carell Sleeping Chair” (a portable carell that simultaneously serves as a chair, laptop stand, and napping spot) and a WiFi “Cold Spot” to help users disconnect. meanwhile, other metaLAB projects and publications center on the changing nature of preserving and presenting data and objects. For example, Yanni Alexander Loukissas’s Life and Death of Data, offers an interactive history of Harvard’s Arnold Arboretum Archives. Visitors may scroll through a timeline to see when the Arboretum acquired certain archival materials. This will be added to Reference Resources Subject Tracer™. This will be added to Research Resources Subject Tracer™. Copyright © 2017 Internet Scout Research Group –

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