This article provides a fantastic example of a contemporary approach to libraries from across the pond. It makes me reflect that the campaign to keep libraries ought to be framed more about preserving opportunity than worrying about losing something traditional. This article tells us:

We must fundamentally change how we view libraries and move from a historical idea of libraries as merely physical repositories to seeing them as an opportunity for proactive community engagement.

One example of this is Princeton Public Library in New Jersey, which has become the home of more than 2,000 Tech Meet-up members. Entrepreneur Venu Moola and librarian Janie Hermann have shared here how the library is successfully connecting the most techie of entrepreneurs in dozens of networking events, supporting research and development and enabling greater levels of co-working. Moola demonstrates that public libraries can be powerful players in supporting the start-up economy, as the Enterprising Libraries initiative also recognises.

ALA believes that libraries can be community problem-solvers, helping us to fully use our spaces, our people, and our technology resources. Or, to put it another way: “What can’t librarians do?”

As Americans have begun to research and register for new health insurance options enabled by ObamaCare, they are turning to their libraries for internet connections and help navigating the necessary online information and forms. Similarly, libraries quickly stepped up during the recession to help employment offices assisting those seeking work or looking for new skills for the digital economy.

Libraries also have a vital role to play in education and learning, starting with helping every child ready to read and succeed in school. Adults tell us that their top priority for libraries is that they should co-ordinate closely with schools and support early literacy for young children. In Howard County, Maryland, the library’s science, technology, engineering and maths learning lab has seen more than 2,000 students participating in classes such as robotics, mobile games, and nanotechnology.

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