In a YouTube video entitled ‘The Reimagined Library – Where will it Find You? | Laura Cole | TEDxSanAntonio’, Laura Cole explains how libraries are being reimagined by BiblioTech, the United States first all-digital public library.

Four key points that Laura makes are:

  • The advance of technology makes digital libraries a possibility and this technology allows patrons to access the information libraries hold anywhere. Libraries information can be accessed at any time and librarians can assist patrons as they navigate through the information they are accessing.
  • Library buildings can now occupy a lot less space while still offering communities a space to gather, learn, conduct classes, and have meetings and while still offer access to services like computers and Wi-Fi. Libraries provide an important social function and space for people so a physical building is still important, however it does not necessarily have to take up as much space as libraries traditionally have.
  • Change is hard and can be uncomfortable to face however libraries can control how they use technology and take advance of it. The technology already exists and libraries can use it help people.
  • Digital libraries are important they are a fluid resource. Paper materials can be impractical and inaccessible to some people. Not everyone can access books (Laura gives the example of students, people in hospitals, in prisons, in the army overseas), digital libraries offer information to people regardless of their personal circumstances.

 

A library that I am familiar with is the Wynyard Public Library. It is the closest library to me. I agree with Laura’s second point when I was thinking about the Wynyard library. While the library building is small, the space is well utilised and space has been prioritised to provide an ample amount of space for computers and internet access. Its services are accessed by members of various demographics within the community.  The library actively encourages patron’s access services (such as borrowing books, CDs, DVDs, magazines) from the library’s digital catalogue and promoting its online services while still being an important social space for the local community.

I think libraries in my state (Tasmania) realise that digital libraries provide patrons access to far greater information and materials then traditionally they would have been able to offer and therefore have embraced the change and digital libraries.

 

References:

‘The Reimagined Library – Where will it Find You? | Laura Cole | TEDxSanAntonio’,