54% of Americans have used a public library in the past year, and 72% live in a “library household.” Most say libraries are very important to their communities, both for providing access to materials and resources and for promoting literacy and improving the overall quality of life. Most Americans say they have only had positive experiences at public libraries, and value a range of library resources and services.
Our new report takes a close look not only at how Americans are using public libraries, but also what sort of services and programming they think libraries should offer — and what they say they would use in the future.
New York City’s public libraries are serving more people in more ways than ever before, and have become an increasingly critical part of the city’s human capital system; but they have been undervalued by policymakers and face growing threats in...
Biblioteca Vasconcelos, Seattle Central, Kanazawa Umimirai, Spijkenisse and Birmingham super-libraries explored (Crack open the Borges. Five non-imaginary libraries to ignite flights of fancy.) As the £189m Library of Birmingham opens its doors, it joins a new breed of international "super library". Architecture, design and technology are changing the way the library functions as a space. They have evolved to reflect modern attitudes to books, and how people consume the written word. With The Culture Show architecture critic Tom Dyckhoff, BBC Arts explores five of the world's most impressive public libraries.
Absolutely love the "book hill". What fasinates me is how relationships between the outside space and inside space is interpreted. A book opens up a whole new world - therefore the inside is bigger than the ouside. And perhaps, interior physical spaces should also create that kind of expansive feeling, which draws people in.
I have nagging suspicion that this is still not quite the model for the library of the future - it almost seems exclusive rather than inspiring. If all you wanted was a space to engage in digital activities, you really don't need a library. A library is also about discovery and come of these spaces don't seem to do that as much - they are are really just a nice free space, which is of course important but it should not be all there is.
Envisioning the library of the future is a major research project undertaken by the Arts Council in 2012/3 that will help us to understand the future for libraries, and how we can enable them to develop.
The topic of this gallery is Library signs, that with their tasteful but by no means understated designs reminds one of the contemplation that takes place in those locations and their serene atmosphere.
I can't stop staring at the cross-section - wow... it's a people's palace indeed.
"...the continued value of libraries: as community spaces, learning spaces, and reading spaces not in conflict with but embracing new technologies. Unlike bookstores, cafes, or coworking spaces, the only cost to participation is getting there."
Americans ages 16-29 are heavy technology users, including in using computers and internet at libraries. At the same time, most still read and borrow printed books, and value a mix of traditional and technological library services.
I have often thought that nothing would do more extensive good at small expense than the establishment of a small circulating library in every county, to consist of a few well-chosen books, to be lent to the people of the country under regulations...