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When Everything is Online, Why Come to the Library At All?

August 22, 2013 | Susan | Comments (0)

I recently came across a short TEDx Talk by Chrystie Hill, Community Services Director for OCLC's WebJunction, and author of Inside, Outside, and Online: Building Your Library Community. In it, she asks the audience to think about that all-too familiar question, "When everything is online, why come to the library at all?"

Her talk is just under 13 minutes long, but touches on a wide range of libraries and their services all over the world, including:

  • YOUmedia Lab in Chicago, a learning space that helps teens build their skills and create digital projects, froms songs to videos to photography to podcasts
  • Veracruz, Mexico, where buses deliver technology and education to remote rural communities 
  • Aarhus, Denmark, in which the practice of participatory democracy (aka community input) generates a new model for a public "mediascape" library that focuses on networked, open spaces, and collaboration. 

Ultimately, she says, the library of the future is not about storing books. What is it, then? Well, she says, "we get to decide, we get to do what we want, and everything is allowed."

Although her talk is over a year old now, it was new to me, and I found it informative and inspiring. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out below:

 

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