It’s not exactly a building boom, but several public libraries around the country are getting makeovers. The Central Library in Austin, Texas just broke ground on a new building that promises such new features as outdoor reading porches and a cafe. In Madison, Wis., they’re about to open a newly remodeled library that has, among other improvements, more natural light and a new auditorium. Historic libraries in Boston and New York City are looking at significant renovations.
So why might this idea of an extremely well-equipped, maker space be the library of the future? Ginnie Cooper, D.C.’s chief librarian, believes it’s a smart expansion of something libraries have done for years.
“Everything in libraries that we talk about as new today has its roots at some other time,” says Cooper. “For example, I know writers who wrote their books at the library. I know people who started their business at the library. And what we realized was, if we were going to serve today’s people building economic value in their communities and being creative, we had to think about the world differently,” she says.
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- Wisconsin: Madison’s New Central Library Will Welcome Homeless, but Won’t Serve as a ‘Day Shelter (August 27, 2012)