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

Mar 11, 2011, 18:02 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Phillip Torrone)

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"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.

"So where does this leave libraries? Last week I walked by the Borders on Broadway in NYC — it's going out of business. There are many reasons, but I think most people will agree giant collections of books in giant buildings do not make as much sense (or cents!) any longer"

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