And Internet-connected computers are clearly bringing more people into libraries.
Don’t miss today’s NYT article “Libraries Wired, and Reborn” By Steve Lohr. Lohr explores how libraries, the gates Foundation, and access have helped turn around public libraries. It renewed interest. It gave people a chance to learn and unserstand the online world. How cool!
I love this line, which could be about anywhere public library:
For the library, supplying patrons with access to the Internet and the Web has become central to its mission, an updating of its long tradition of providing information free to the public.
A library in rural Louisiana is highlighted and it’s fascinating. The last line is a quote from Mary Cosper LeBouef, Head Librarian, that to me speaks, pardon the pun, volumes:
In Houma, Mrs. LeBoeuf walked through the bustling new library as mothers with toddlers gathered for story time, the staff stocked shelves with books, and people of all ages sat at clusters of flat-panel PC’s. Computers and the Internet are changing libraries irrevocably, she said.
“Books are never going away, but the future of libraries is much more as community centers,” Mrs. LeBoeuf observed. “I worked here for 22 years and never thought we’d have something like this.”
I’m sayin! The future of libraries is all about access and space. It’s about building spaces that welcome folks and give them access to stuff that makes them want to stay awhile. It’s about planning for our users and the future.
Tame the Web Kudos to Steve Lohr, Mrs. LeBouef and all the folks at the Gates Foundation