WATCH Libraries are essential to the communities they serve. Yet the media is fond of reporting that they’ve become “irrelevant.” Libraries are facing real challenges, but they’re also working hard—and smart—to keep pace with user needs and changing technologies. … Continue reading →
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...
Celina Carter can’t hear herself think in libraries. “The quietness, hearing clicking, chewing, coughing, typing, it irritates me,” she says. She prefers working in a coffee shop. “I look out the window for inspiration,” she says.
When I was a student (once upon a time I thought I was to be a clinical psychologist), and broke, and spending time in New York City (also about the time I decided I was not to be a performing artist, choreographer for my career after spending years here doing [...]
Ever since the internet came along, our relationship to libraries has changed dramatically. But recent studies show that these institutions--pillars of the OG sharing economy--are still viewed as essential to American communities.
If libraries are to survive the 21st century, we have to decide what role we play in our communities. Are we going to be providers or educators? Providers focus on satisfying patron demands; educators focus on satisfying patron needs. Providers measure gate-counts; educators measure community impact. Providers want patrons to read; educators want them to read well. What Bivens-Tatum offers is a reminder that libraries aren’t just there to satisfy their communities…they are there to improve them, to educate them, to enlighten them.