Is It Time to Rebuild & Retool Public Libraries and Make “TechShops”?

Make – “To me, public libraries — the availability of free education for all — represent the collective commitment of a community to their future. They symbolize what is most important, a commitment to educating the next generation. The role of a public library should also adapt over time, and that time is finally here. It’s time to plan how we’re going to build the future and what place public libraries have, should have, or won’t have. The goal of this article is to get everyone talking about one of our great resources, the public library, and its future.”

“If you’re reading this, you’re likely not reading it in a public library. Computers are cheap, and internet access is pretty good for most people. The majority of people do not get their online news from terminals at the public library. At one time the library was “the living internet” — you went there to look up something hard to find, to do research — now it’s all at our fingertips through search engines, Wikipedia, and the web.”

6 Responses to “Is It Time to Rebuild & Retool Public Libraries and Make “TechShops”?”

  1. Eileen M.
    March 11, 2011 at 10:46 am #

    Responding to the last paragraph, even living in a affluent area like Plano, TX , our public computers are almost always in use. Having their own computers doesn’t mean that they have a high speed connection, the latest operating system or productivity software, which so many of the job search and social networking sites need to run at their best, so they use ours. When the economy tanked in late 2008, our usage went up dramaticly. Seems that the high speed Internet connection was one of the first things to go when folks start tightening their belts.

  2. amy
    March 11, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

    In our rural CT setting, we find ourselves concentrating on providing more programs for all interests and ages, with great success. There is no community center in town and it’s a niche that meets our mission and the needs of our townspeople to get together, socialize, and learn.

  3. Cat
    March 12, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

    If only “education” was what urban neighborhood libraries were supporting (in famous big cities). Teen homemade porno and gang videos, hours and hours of looking at oneself and friends, being rude and fowl-mouthed to library staff (and sometimes each other)….. little reading, few programs….

    Someone needs to do a serious study!!

  4. MiketheLibrarian
    March 13, 2011 at 9:25 pm #

    I’ve been engaging the author and others on this blog entry. The vast, vast majority of entries are pointing out that what he wants to do just isn’t practical. His entries mostly consist of “read the article” and “suggest how libraries will be different.” I pointed out that libraries change in response to their communities, not the other way around. Honestly, I have a full class for my Basic Excel class next week and people complaining that I don’t have enough classes on using the mouse. And he takes libraries to task for not having machine shops on-site?

  5. Short term finance course in India
    March 14, 2011 at 3:41 am #

    Its a good time to make “tech shops”and its definitely gains to every user.

  6. david schau
    March 14, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

    The credibility of the author is destroyed when the author writes “now it’s all at our fingertips through search engines, Wikipedia, and the web.” At our WV library, we use print sources to find material regularly to complement the web. Historical material is found more readily in print sources than the web.

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