Creating the Library of Tomorrow from the Ground Up
The public library hums. Readers peruse e-books and job seekers attend workshops. Teens organize poetry slams, and students work together on school assignments. Librarians plan programs, help researchers online, and digitize collections of all shapes and sizes. All around the world, today’s libraries are serving their communities in new and different ways.
But is that enough for tomorrow’s library?
We do need to promote modern, relevant services in our current libraries, says Rob Bruijnzeels, founder and rector of the Dutch LibrarySchool. For the long term, however, Bruijnzeels believes that libraries need more than modernizing: They need rethinking, and they need librarians who think differently.
“We can’t just refresh the library of the twentieth century anymore. There is so much more going on now,” says Bruijnzeels. “We think we need a new kind of public library, a new process for public libraries. We need something completely different. What it is, we don’t know for sure, but let’s have a try.”
To give us a collective try, Bruijnzeels started the LibrarySchool, a new university program designed to educate a new wave of librarians. It’s both an academic program and an incubator of ideas.
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