December 12, 2017

Non-Profit Group Plans to Open Omaha’s First Digital Library, Omaha Public Library Will Be a Partner

From the Omaha World-Herald:

Omaha philanthropists will transform a vacant former bookstore into the city’s first digital library, the nonprofit group Heritage Services announced today.

The library will be aimed at offering the entire community access to the latest digital information and technology, education in using it and equipment in spaces designed to foster creativity.

Heritage Services will renovate the former Borders bookstore, 7201 Dodge St., for the facility.

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It will be run by the Community Information Trust, a private nonprofit corporation established for that purpose.

The Omaha Public Library and Metropolitan Community College will be partners. Omaha library employees will help the digital library staff develop programs and content. Metro will offer classes and user training there.
Read the Complete Article

See Also:  Library project planned for 72nd and Dodge Borders building (via Omaha World Herald)

See Also: Community Info Trust (via GuideStar)

See Also: Heritage Services (via GuideStar)

UPDATE: Here’s the full text of the formal announcement about the new digital library. While the both articles shared above do mention the Omaha Public Library, the formal announcement does not. One of many questions we have is what, if any, remotely accessible digital services will the new digital library offer and if they will provide them, will they be duplicate the efforts of the public library and/or area school libraries.

OMAHA, Neb. – The next community project by Heritage Services will be Omaha’s first digital library, providing open access to technology for all. Set to open to the public beginning next fall and located at 72nd and Dodge Streets, this space will be for anyone and everyone in the community who wants to access technology to learn, explore and create.

“Something very different is about to happen at 72nd and Dodge,” said Walter Scott, Heritage Services co-founder and chairman. “People want access to useful technology and as a community, we should provide access to these resources. The digital library, a library of the 21st century, will help position the Omaha community as a leader in access to, and understanding of, the digital world in which we all live.”

The Omaha digital library will serve a wide range of citizens with dreams big and small, from those without access to technology to entrepreneurs who need access to the right technology to make their idea come alive and everyone in between. Examples of featured technology will include individual computer stations with access to databases from libraries around the world, dedicated children’s areas for interactive story times, innovation labs for creation in a digital environment, production areas featuring 3D printers that can help to revolutionize modern medicine, and more.

This space will link leading-edge technology with related user training through an on-site partnership with Metropolitan Community College. While the digital library will be available for walk-in use at any time during its hours of operation, programs will also be developed and delivered to address the needs of individual users.

“We will focus on community education in response to the needs of our entire service area and the digital library patrons,” said Bill Owen, Metropolitan Community College associate vice president of effectiveness and engagement. “We look forward to partnering with Heritage Services to provide collaborative learning opportunities and helping individuals of all ages meet their goals for professional growth and personal enrichment.”

The development and operation of the digital library will be managed by Community Information Trust, a non-profit organization formed by Heritage Services. Leadership on the Community Information Trust board includes Heritage Services board members Walter Scott, David Slosburg and Michael McCarthy and Heritage Services President Sue Morris. Community Information Trust has purchased the former Borders book store at 7201 Dodge Street, located in the center of the city at the busiest intersection of Omaha. The digital library’s access to the transit hub at 72nd and Dodge ensures direct bus routes from all parts of the city.

“All Omahans will benefit from increased access to all the good things technology can provide – the opportunity to learn, to explore and to create,” said Michael McCarthy, Heritage Services board member. “This space will welcome everyone from our children learning to read and our grandparents applying for social security to the emerging creative class who will develop the tools and products of the future to our next generation of entrepreneurs. This space will allow the Omaha community, our community, to leap forward through better access to technology – access to the future.”

The digital library, funded through private donations, is scheduled to open in fall 2015.

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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