libraryAmidst all the coverage on how the library and retail books scenes are changing due to the eBook revolution, I was inspired to see two news stories pop up in my Feedly feed about library renovations.

The first struck close to home, too—the Toronto Public Library just opened their 100th branch! The branch includes the requisite books—42,000 of them, in four languages!—and some cool techie stuff too. There is a ‘Digital Innovation Hub’ which includes a 3-D printer for public use, free wifi, a computer lab and so on. And on the non-techie side, an ‘Early Literacy Centre; designed for children and caregivers, and an outdoor reading garden.

Meanwhile, the folks at InfoDicket posted about a San Antonio library renovation which includes a special space for teens. It too has a ‘digital lab’ and also includes a gaming space, wifi lounge and special collection of STEM materials.

I think these innovative spaces are great ideas. On my last visit to a public library branch, I noticed that they definitely seemed to be de-emphasizing the ‘line up here to check out books’ function of the librarians, and I think that is a good thing. Librarians are wonderful resources of information. I would rather see them function as starting points to direct people to resources both digital and print, to community organizations and programs of use to them, to educational resources to help them get jobs and educations. There are better things to do with them than utilize them as flunkies to check out books, and it’s great to see libraries growing with their communities and becoming hubs for learning and information. I think this is the way of the future for libraries and I was delighted to find two examples just this week.

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"I’m a journalist, a teacher and an e-book fiend. I work as a French teacher at a K-3 private school. I use drama, music, puppets, props and all manner of tech in my job, and I love it. I enjoy moving between all the classes and having a relationship with each child in the school. Kids are hilarious, and I enjoy watching them grow and learn. My current device of choice for reading is my Amazon Kindle Touch, but I have owned or used devices by Sony, Kobo, Aluratek and others. I also read on my tablet devices using the Kindle app, and I enjoy synching between them, so that I’m always up to date no matter where I am or what I have with me."


  1. Agreed. I’ve been working with a team of librarians as part of the Soon to be Famous Illinois Author Project, and you won’t find a more dedicated, innovative group of book lovers anywhere. I think we may well be seeing the beginnings of a library renaissance, especially as authors and librarians discover how much they can help one another.

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