Libraries transform to meet the needs of community – to promote community

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I was watching the following video with my 10 year old. “What are you watching?” she asked, “The future of libraries.” “Oh did they get more books?” Aargh!

I’m not against books – but as a librarian who loves technology that hurts. The library is so much more – even more than books about the Titanic, which is her current passion. But when she started watching she was drawn in – I realized this video isn’t descriptive – it’s prescriptive of the library of the future. Libraries that want a future will want to watch this.

The video comes from the Aspen Institute; they also produced a report: Rising to the Challenge: Re-Envisioning Public Libraries. The report details what people and communities need to know in the knowledge economy:

  • Lifelong access to an ever-increasing body of knowledge and tools to ensure that their skills remain relevant to the current economy as it continues to evolve
  • The capacity and disposition to learn in small, quick doses rather than wade through mounds of links and piles of data that provide too much information and too little information.
  • The ability to use, understand and process information in many different forms including text, data, audio and video the quality of information from different sources and understand its relevance.
  • Places to gather, collaborate and contribute to knowledge development
  • Access to conversations among creative people in their areas of interest so that they can innovate and develop or maintain a competitive advantage in the knowledge economy
  • People and communities need libraries.

The report goes onto detail each aspect.