Bloomberg Op/Ed: “Libraries Can Unite a Lonely, Divided Nation”
From a Bloomberg Op/Ed by Richard Florida (University of Toronto) and Brooks Rainwater (President and CEO of the Urban Libraries Council):
Libraries are so much more than storehouses for books. They are crucial pieces of social infrastructure. When we talk about infrastructure, we typically mean the built structures and utilities — like roads, bridges, subways and sewer systems — that underpin our communities. Social infrastructure, as the sociologist Eric Klinenberg defines it, is the kind of infrastructure that facilitates human connections, interaction and civic engagement — places like parks, playgrounds, swimming pools, museums — and, of course, libraries.
…libraries provide services and connective fiber to a wide range of people of across genders, races, ages and income levels, housed and unhoused alike. One can sit quietly in a corner and read a book or a magazine, but libraries offer so much more — the chance to interact with someone from outside your social bubble, take in a controversial exhibit that makes you think, or join a public meeting. What other institution can offer storytime for children, entrepreneurial services and financial literacy for adults, programs ranging from author talks to musical acts, and a place to work remotely or get on a Zoom call with people from across the world?
Read the Complete Op/Ed (about 950 words)
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.