The Public Library, Completely Reimagined

A follow up to my previous article “Is It Time to Rebuild & Retool Public Libraries and Make “TechShops”?” – The Public Library, Completely Reimagined @ MindShift.

You’ll hear a lot of talk about the “death of the public library” these days. It isn’t simply the perpetual budget crises that many face either. It’s the move to digital literature, and the idea that once there are no more print books (or rather if there are no more print books), the library as an institution will cease to exist.

Librarians will remind you, of course, that a library is much more than a book repository. It’s an information center (free and open information, I should add). It’s an educational center. It’s a digital access center. It’s a community center. It’s fairly clear when you describe the library like this that none of these roles are going away (nor should they), no matter what format our reading habits may move to.

But these new formats will indeed change libraries — how they operate as well as how they look. As our books become digitized, there may be less need for row upon of bookshelves. And as such, that’s a great opportunity for libraries to re-think how to use that space.

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16 thoughts on “The Public Library, Completely Reimagined

  1. Fred Pacilli says:

    I’m deaf.  It would be nice if you have caption available. 

  2. Fred Pacilli says:

    I would be nice if you take the time and provide captioning for the deaf.

  3. Christian Flowers says:

    Heh, I just said the exact same thing about RadioShack when I saw they were selling Make kits.

  4. Bob Darlington says:

    Why the heck isn’t there one here in Los Alamos?  This is nerd central (and darn it, I want a kit).

  5. Christoph says:

    Good Post! Your post is an excellent example of why I keep comming back to read your excellent quality content that is forever updated. More please, this post helped me consider a few more things, keep up the good work.
    And I have a online fashion , if you have interest , welcome to go and have a look .

  6. Anonymous says:

    Books may someday become obsolete but I think libraries should persist.  Or at least Librarians.  As our guides to the mass memory of mankind, they help us sift through the nonsense and find the credible.

  7. Drew MorningBird says:

    books will never be obsolete they serve a very cost effective method of archiving knowledge, obviously their digital counterparts in many ways are better but as of yet they fail the longevity test, a single solar storm could render them useless

  8. AMalePoet says:

    I too live in New York State and have wishes of starting a maker space. I have Broome Community  College and Binghamton University to borrow talent/ knowledge from potentially. I just need to know where and how to knock on doors. My dream maker space would have soldering set ups on one end and industrial sized looms and quilting machines on the other.  My email is amalepoet@yahoo.com  

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