Meaningful Essential Services Beyond Commercial Content

Don’t miss the new column by Aaron Schmidt:

Fortunately, there are examples of libraries creating new and valuable services that may just serve as a template for fresh, more community- responsive services than the current “free bookstore” long-term gamble we’re making.

Baltimarket is a collaboration among Enoch Pratt Free Library, the city of Baltimore, and other organizations to bring healthy food to food deserts. People can order groceries online and pick them up at library locations. No ­ebooks required.

In January, Pima County Public Library, Tucson, AZ, hired a nurse. She leads programs and is also available to answer questions and make referrals. Combine this with expert help searching databases, and there’s near endless potential to assist people.

LibraryYOU is a project from the Escondido Public Library, CA, that helps its community create and publish videos and podcasts “to collect and share local knowledge.”