The cheers are warranted because libraries are willingly changing with the times and reinventing themselves (PM magazine’s May cover story has examples). Instead of living only in the book world of the past, they are adapting to today’s environment and the technologies that our current lifestyles offer and need. Obviously, they are looking to the future too and want to continue to be solid hubs of information and community.
Even though public libraries are still known for books and the appreciated silence they provide, a whole new level of services I’ve been reading about recently includes accepting nonperishable food for food banks (and in exchange, residents’ fines are paid), digital demonstrations, computer training, youth activities rooms, free health workshops, dogs allowed to accompany patrons, and more.
Last year when we talked about publishing a library article, staff colleague Kira Hasbargen, coauthor of the cover story and who has worked with a number of local government libraries through her work at ICMA, told me that today’s libraries are more than just hangouts for an older generation (hey, that’s my demographic); they are providing services for all generations. To my way of thinking, libraries deserve more than three cheers.
Check out PM’s May issue and cover story and let us know how your library system has managed to stay relevant and thrive.