Home>Libraries are the “public power houses of the information age”

Libraries are the “public power houses of the information age”

We do love libraries, and I have to share this article by the architecture critic of the Financial Times, “A turn-up for the books,” because it relieved my mind about the state of libraries in the UK (my other home). I had read about the rebranding of urban libraries as “Idea Shops”–in fact, I see they use US terminology and call them “Idea Stores.” This sounded quite desperate, and I was told the surge of US interest in libraries as vital civic spaces didn’t seem to have resonated over there (perhaps because the British have pubs!). The community building aspect of libraries is something we are only beginning to understand–and build upon. Now that I think about it, Berkshire needs to turn its appendix from the Encyclopedia of Community about how libraries can build community into a free ebook. Coming soon….

By | 2005-07-24T11:47:22+00:00 July 24th, 2005|Uncategorized|2 Comments

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2 Comments

  1. Becky Clark, PhD 24 July 2005 at 23:30

    Karen, I appreciate your posting on libraries and communities. It reminded me of the old days when the library was brought to me as a child growing up in the bible belt of the deep south (USA), on “wheels”…the mobile library, fondly known as the “bookmobile”.

    How I eagerly looked forward to that one day a week when the bookmobile parked in our neighborhood and I would be the first in line to check out the latest books as well as the time-honored historical ones! When my friends were talking about the bat-mobile and the adventures of Batman and Robin, I was humming excitedly about the bookmobile!

    While bookmobiles are extinct these days, I can’t help but feel that it was the forerunner of the libraries the world now can easily access via internet. Think about it. E-books are everywhere and how quickly we are able to find a resource by a simple click of a mouse!

    I, for one, will always cherish print books, the excitement of checking them out at actual libraries but I, too, welcome the high tech of virtual libraries available online. Both provide a community for the reader if we dare to embrace the new libraries of the present time while appreciating and preserving the libraries of old.

    Surely there is room for both in this fast moving global community of ours. While I learn the new technology of libraries in today’s world, my heart still races in memories to the bookmobile of yore.

  2. Becky Clark, PhD 24 July 2005 at 23:33

    Karen, I appreciate your posting on libraries and communities. It reminded me of the old days when the library was brought to me as a child growing up in the bible belt of the deep south (USA), on “wheels”…the mobile library, fondly known as the “bookmobile”.

    How I eagerly looked forward to that one day a week when the bookmobile parked in our neighborhood and I would be the first in line to check out the latest books as well as the time-honored historical ones! When my friends were talking about the bat-mobile and the adventures of Batman and Robin, I was humming excitedly about the bookmobile!

    While bookmobiles are extinct these days, I can’t help but feel that it was the forerunner of the libraries the world now can easily access via internet. Think about it. E-books are everywhere and how quickly we are able to find a resource by a simple click of a mouse!

    I, for one, will always cherish print books, the excitement of checking them out at actual libraries but I, too, welcome the high tech of virtual libraries available online. Both provide a community for the reader if we dare to embrace the new libraries of the present time while appreciating and preserving the libraries of old.

    Surely there is room for both in this fast moving global community of ours. While I learn the new technology of libraries in today’s world, my heart still races in memories to the bookmobile of yore.

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