Published Works

Document Type

Book Chapter


Library and Information Science | Technology and Innovation


When libraries create innovative spaces—or spaces for innovation—they are mostly public-facing spaces. They might be learning commons, makerspaces, collaboration rooms, digital production labs, 3D printing stations, innovation studios, kiosks, incubators, and other buzzwords for physical spaces designed to foster creative productivity through technology and collaboration. At the same time, these transformations have the effect of framing library innovation as heavily public-facing and presenting innovation in terms of technology adoption. Spaces that foster intraorganizational, entrepreneurial innovation by library workers are no less essential yet are largely overlooked in the literature and in practice. This chapter draws on studies, concepts, and models from inside and outside the library world, buttressing that research with the author’s own experiences in academic libraries. This chapter makes the case for spaces as vital to creating and sustaining innovation cultures in library organizations. How can libraries build serendipity and agility into workplace design? How can they draw on technologies to brainstorm, collaborate, and track ideas and projects? How can they sweep away physical and mental clutter to free up brainpower and time—and money—for innovation? This chapter seeks to demonstrate to library leaders at all levels how to design safe, engaging, and adaptable workplace environments that foster entrepreneurship while underscoring the positive outcomes for the organization, for staff, and for end users.

Recommended Citation

Michael Rodriguez, “Creating Spaces for Innovation in the Workplace,” in The LITA Leadership Guide: The Librarian as Entrepreneur, Leader, and Technologist, edited by Sharon Clapp and Carl Antonucci (Chicago: Rowman & Littlefield, 2017), 65-76.