Measuring Attention in Library Spaces

Imagine having a Google-Analytics-style dashboard for your library building: number of visits, what patrons browsed, what parts of the library were busy during which parts of the day, and more. Measure the Future is working to make that happen by using open-hardware based sensors that can collect data about building usage that is now invisible. Making these invisible occurrences explicit will allow librarians to make strategic decisions that create more efficient and effective experiences for their patrons.

Our goal is to enable libraries and librarians to make the tools that measure the future of the library as physical space. We are going to build open tools using open hardware and open source software, and then provide open tutorials so that libraries everywhere can build the tools for themselves.


Computers in Libraries 2018 Presentation

Slides from my Measure the Future presentation at Computers in Libraries 2018.

Measure the Future Public Beta

I am pleased and proud to announce, after 2 years of development, that the Measure Read more

Open Hardware

Eliza Making

We’re gonna measure the future with open hardware. With Moore’s law pushing it forward, hardware gets better, faster, and cheaper on a reliable and predictable schedule, and using Open Hardware (hardware that has its specifications open for modification and duplication) allows us to build complicated sensors reasonably cheaply. It also gives libraries and others the ability to improve upon our work as the hardware improves. 

Smart Libraries


The Library Building is a cornerstone of its community, but we don’t think they are being used to their fullest. The bare handful of tools that we have to collect metrics about our building usage haven’t changed in decades. We have the ability to do so much more with our library buildings, they have so much untapped potential that we can unleash.

That’s what we’re going to do at Measure the Future.

Our goal is to give libraries the equivalent of Google Analytics for the library building.

Open Tutorials

Teacher Desk

We will be producing open tutorials that outline both the open hardware and the open source software we will be using, so that any library anywhere will be able to purchase inexpensive parts, put them together, and use code that we provide to build their own sensor networks for their own buildings. Our goal is to make Measuring the Future available to anyone that wants to understand their spaces better.

We are going to teach you how to make the things that measure the future.